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End in sight to severance payout fight

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

FOLLOWING talks with Prime Minister Perry Christie, City Markets employees spokesman Whanslaw Turnquest said that a resolution to their almost six months outstanding severance packages was now “in sight”.

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Prime Minister Perry Christie

With meetings between the company’s principle, employee representatives, and the Prime Minister having recently taken place, Mr Turnquest said he would not preempt or prejudice further discussions by going into greater detail.

However he said that the 165 employees in New Providence, whose lives were left in limbo since March 30 at the suspension of the chain, are optimistic that compensation would soon be received.

Mr Turnquest said: “The matter is moving close to completion. We did meet with the Prime Minister and he has said that the wants to again meet with us next week. He assured us that he would conduct his own research and that he will be resolving this matter. He seems like he’s on top of things.”

Since negotiations between management and employees reached a stalemate, Mr Turnquest said two employees have died, further proof that the matter has been lingering for too long.

“We’ve had one manager that died of diabetes. He was not able to get it under 
control because he could not afford the medication and a cashier who just died of hypertension, she too could not afford the medical care that she needed. This matter needs to be over our people need their money, their bills and personal needs are piling up,” he said.

And although the ex-workers feel some relief that severance could soon be on the way, there is still major confusion over an unresolved multimillion dollar pension fund which is before the courts. On last word, Mr Turnquest expressed the possibility that the matter could reach a United States Supreme Court. He, yesterday, did not wish to further comment.

Concerns were raised about the pension fund’s security, just days after workers were told the financially struggling food chain would close and was in talks with a buyer.

Not long after, those employees were reassured by Mr Finlayson that the fund remained intact.

A deal to sell the chain of stores to Super Value was finalised in April confirmed Mark Finlayson, chief of family owned Trans-Island Traders and ex principle owner.

Comments

concernedcitizen 9 years, 11 months ago

if after B Sands , G Fritzgerald ,M Finlynson and P Kemp ran it to the ground and looted the pension ,PGC better not use one cent of my tax dollars to pay off the employees,,,

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