By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
RESORTS World Bimini (RWB) officials yesterday said the resort has “zero tolerance” for the alleged actions of several of its casino managers who reportedly have employees “in constant fear” of job loss.
Michelle Malcolm, RWB’s director of public relations, told The Tribune yesterday that officials met with some of the casino staff regarding the allegations of poor working conditions and racial tension. However she did not reveal the outcome of the meetings.
In a letter sent to The Tribune on Sunday, concerned employees of RWB’s casino said they were in constant fear of losing their jobs due to the behaviour of several managers at the resort.
The letter was copied to Labour Minister Shane Gibson and several other government officials. In it, they said the managers have “people walking around on egg shells,” and called for Mr Gibson to step in and address their concerns.
In another letter sent to The Tribune on Tuesday, employees said tensions at the resort resembled “apartheid conditions,” something which Ms Malcolm swiftly refuted yesterday.
“Providing a positive workplace environment for our employees is critically important to us, and we tirelessly work to ensure that every single member of our team is respected for the tremendous job they do,” she said. “Resorts World Bimini takes these allegations seriously and once we were informed of said allegations, immediately met with casino staff to learn more about the issue.”
According to the first letter, workers met last year with resort officials to address issues regarding dealers’ tokens, suitable and comfortable living and working conditions, and offer complaints and corrections for the casino.
They said management promised to 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.
That promise, the first letter said, was not kept.
The letter also claimed that one manager frequently uses phrases such as “I order you” or “I command you to work overtime” when speaking to employees. The letter claimed that in instances where persons have refused to work overtime, management has threatened to recruit foreign employees to perform the duties.
In a follow-up complaint letter sent to The Tribune, the employees claimed that one manager is so controlling he has allegedly expressed sentiments like: “This is my (expletive) casino and I would do what I want.”
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.”
“From the inception of our employment at Resorts World in June 2013, we have been working under extreme conditions, rather heavy workload,” the latest letter read.
The letter claims the “problems” at the resort stem from racial tension at the property. When The Tribune contacted Mr Gibson for further comment yesterday, he said he still had not received any formal complaint from the employees at Resort’s World.
He has said however, that the allegations are “hearsay” until he is made aware of them personally.