By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
DISGRUNTLED employees at Resorts World Bimini said they are in constant fear of losing their jobs and have called on Labour Minister Shane Gibson to step in and address their concerns.
In a letter sent to The Tribune, concerned employees of resort’s casino said the actions of some managers have “people walking around on egg shells”.
The letter was copied to Mr Gibson and several other government officials.
As a result, the employees have asked that the government “step in and take a stand for the Bahamian people”.
When contacted for comment on the issue, Mr Gibson told The Tribune he was “unaware” of any of the allegations and said the reports are “hearsay” until someone from the resort personally informs him of the grievances.
“Our democratic rights are being whipped away from us, because we are in fear of losing our jobs,” the letter read.
“Bahamians are being forced to remain silent and when questions are put to management in some situations, (we are told) remarks such as ‘If you don’t like what’s going on, we will be happy to accept your resignation.’ Every day we come to work pressured, as if this day could be our last.”
The letter claimed that in 2013, workers met with a resort official to address issues regarding dealers’ tokens, suitable and comfortable living and working conditions, and offer complaints and corrections for the casino.
They said the response at that time was that management would get back to them and an employee would be appointed to represent all workers that may have had ongoing questions and concerns for casino management.
To this date, however, they say nothing has happened.
The letter also said one manager frequently uses phrases such as “I order you” or “I command you to work overtime” when speaking to employees.
The letter said that in instances where persons have refused to work overtime, management has threatened to recruit foreign employees to perform the duties.
Further allegations include management scheduling the employees on 16-hour shifts, and employees not being able to get “a hot plate of food to eat” after working those 16 hours. They also said drinking water is unavailable “90 per cent of the time”.
“Are these the type of investors our Bahamian government is allowing into our country, to strip the Bahamian people of their identity?” the statement read. “What is going on under the nose of our government in this 21st century?”
When contacted for comment on the issue, Mr Gibson said he was unaware of the allegations. He said the complaints of the staff are “hearsay” until he is made privy of their grievances.
“I have no knowledge of it,” Mr Gibson said. “Nobody ever said anything to me about it. As soon as somebody makes an official complaint to me, then we’ll have it investigated.”
Attempts to reach Michelle Malcolm, the resort’s Director of Public Affairs, were unsuccessful up to press time.