By DANA SMITH
Tribune Staff Reporter
PRIME Minister Perry Christie met with union officials yesterday over the firing of nearly 150 employees from the Wyndham Resort.
He said it was questioned if laws should be in place to enforce some sort of process that employers would have to go through before firing their workers.
Wyndham employees say they were terminated without notice last Friday. The workers claim they were called into a meeting with management and told 130 of them were to be made redundant.
At yesterday’s meeting, members of the National Congress of Trade Unions - including the Hotel Union - met with Mr Christie.
“We’re faced with a situation where 144 people have been laid off and the question is whether or not our laws ought to be as such where there is a required process that an employer has to go through, prior to laying off people,” Mr Christie said.
“Because it is such an extraordinary intervention in people’s lives when they are laid off.
“And, if they are middle aged, it’s almost the end of the road in terms of that particular industry.”
The prime minister said it was a good meeting and he planned to meet with Baha Mar CEO and Chairman Sarkis Izmirlan, regarding the firings.
“It is a necessity for the government of the Bahamas and Baha Mar to be on the same page, operating at the same level, because the country has such an enormous investment in this particular enterprise, as he does,” he said.
“As you know, we’re going to have to spend an enormous amount of money marketing. We have already committed ourselves to spending money and paying for our share of the roadworks that have been done.
“It’s something where we have to be satisfied, because the former prime minister indicated as much as $400 million in contracts ought to be available for Bahamians and we have to see a much more sustained and greater involvement on the part of Bahamians in the project.”