VIDEO: Resort told arrested union leader ‘not to interfere’


NICOLE Martin, the Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union (BHCAWU) president who was arrested on Friday after she and union members attempted to attend a management and staff meeting at the One & Only Ocean Club, Paradise Island, had been told not to interfere by resort management and employee union members.

Mrs Martin was escorted off the property by police officers and taken to the Central Police station, where she was released after a short period without charge, after she said she wanted to meet management over redundancies and changes to shift patterns at the resort.

The incident follows recent layoffs at the One & Only Ocean Club ahead of the Paradise Island resort’s planned multi-million dollar renovation this summer.

Last month, 29 staff members of the Courtyard Terrace restaurant at the hotel were informed that their services were no longer required and on Friday staff were informed about the changes and upgrades.

On Saturday, Ashley McBain, vice-president of corporate communications at  Kerzner International, the luxury resort’s operator, said in a statement the BHCAWU had been informed the union would not be permitted to attend the meeting.

“One & Only Ocean Club held employee team meetings on June 12,” Ms McBain said.

“Darrin Woods, General Secretary of the union, had been advised by resort management early in the day that the union would not be permitted to attend the meeting, at which time he requested a meeting at the end of the day with management - which we agreed to arrange.  

“Nevertheless, officials of the union entered the property against the directions of security personnel that they should not, and intruded into the meeting in a vocal and disruptive fashion.

“Not only management but also employee union members asked that the union officials cease their interference and allow the meeting to continue.

“Following conclusion of the employee meeting, the union officials continued to be disruptive to the resort’s business, our guests and employees in multiple locations on the property, despite numerous and repeated requests to leave by both resort security and the police.

“In response to the disruptive and aggressive behaviour of the union officials, police on site appropriately took charge of the situation. As the operator of a luxury resort and employer to over 400 Bahamians, we have an obligation to ensure a peaceful environment for our guests and employees.”

Mrs Martin told The Tribune yesterday that, as a union executive, she had a right to be on the property.

She had earlier been reported as saying “all I wanted to know was what was the role of the police in an industrial matter” before she was restrained after refusing to leave by a directed exit. She said there had been a “legion” of police there.

The One & Only Ocean Club is undergoing “a significant renovation” this summer with the $15m redevelopment of the Hartford Wing to include expanded and restyled rooms. 

The Tribune understands the plans include a $3m pool on the beachfront between Dune restaurant and the wooden terrace, a $1m facelift and increased expenditure on entertainment at Dune and upgraded wifi across the property. The pool has already been resurfaced.

Should the resort need to close in September, it would be for three weeks.

Staff were also told on Friday about the introduction of an 11pm to 7am shift from today for some daytime workers and the BHCAWU is understood to want to take issue with that.

“Access Industries (owners of the Ocean Club) and Kerzner International have initiated a significant renovation of One & Only Ocean Club,” Ms McBain said. “Our core focus remains the long-term sustainability of the resort and hundreds of Bahamian jobs. The renovation of One & Only Ocean Club to upgrade facilities is also being complemented by investment from One & Only as the management company, in training programmes, to improve the future growth of team members and the overall service quality expected by today’s discerning travellers. 

“Our long-term commitment remains to work closely with the Bahamian government and the Ministry of Tourism to safeguard the future of the resort and Bahamian employment. 

“Our plans have been openly presented to our entire One & Only Ocean Club team, the government as well as the union. We are executing to the plan we presented months ago. 

“The ongoing investment is being made to ensure the future success of the resort for our employees and our guests. We are adding over 100 construction jobs for the renovation and subsequently will add over an estimated $1m to $1.2m of additional tax revenue to The Bahamas through the collection of VAT and Business Licence.”

• See the video of police at the One & Only Ocean Club on tribune242.com.


EnoughIsEnough 7 years, 9 months ago

not quite sure why the police are just standing around. they were to escort the union off of the property (private property) and yet they are standing around? bahamians have absolutely no respect for the police and it's becoming clear why - they are not assertive enough. in another country you can rest assured the bahamians would have left as requested. shameful behaviour.


Sickened 7 years, 9 months ago

Nicole Martin is such an embarrassment to Bahamians. Even the prime minister wouldn't be so rude as to state that he has a right to walk all around a private property. Next time the police should ask her to leave (only once) and then taze her ass! I would love to see her flopping around on the floor like a fish out of water.


henny 7 years, 9 months ago

She got exactly what she deserved....escorted to jail!!


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