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2,000 Jobs Go At Baha Mar

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The letter issued by Sarkis Izmirlian yesterday in response to the announcement of job cuts.

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

MORE than 2,000 Baha Mar employees have been made redundant effective today, according to a statement from the resort’s joint provisional liquidators.

Justice Ian Winder granted approval in the Supreme Court on Thursday morning to Baha Mar’s court appointed joint provisional liquidators’ request to make layoffs.

The layoffs affect approximately 1,440 non-active employees and approximately 580 active employees, including members of management and line staff, the statement said.

The layoffs did not affect the Melià Nassau Beach Resort.

Employees’ final salary payment will be made on October 26 and will not include severance or redundancy pay.

The joint provisional liquidators, Bahamas-based KRyS Global and UK-based AlixPartners, said the layoffs were due to the financial insolvency of the $3.5 billion resort project that has been stalled since June 29.

Ed Rahming, KRyS Global managing director, said the layoffs are “difficult on everyone” but “it further highlights the urgency for everyone to remain at the negotiating table and maintain the dialogue that may lead to a resolution, a re-start of construction and the completion of the Baha Mar project.”

Alastair Beveridge, of AlixPartners, said it was not fiscally responsible to pay staff “who were not doing work.”

“We were paying housekeeping staff when there was no housekeeping to do, spa staff when there was no spa, casino staff when there was no casino to operate,” Mr Beveridge said.

“Thanks to monies that were made available to us by the government from funds that were due to Baha Mar for road construction works, we were able to keep these staff members on as long as we did. We know that they have obligations, that many of them gave up other jobs to join the Baha Mar dream team and now we are continuing to focus on how best to make that dream a reality.”

In a letter to the resort’s staff, the liquidators said Baha Mar is not in a position to pay any severance or redundancy packages “at this time.”

“All payments due to employees other than earned and unpaid salary for the month of October through October 23 will rank as a claim against the company that your employer has a contract with,” the letter said.

“Employees are entitled to submit claims, as applicable, for any accrued or unused vacation, pay in lieu of notice, redundancy, earned but unpaid salaries, declared but unpaid bonuses and repatriation expenses.”

The statement said management and staff who were made redundant are being offered assistance in development of CVs and resumes and in job-hunting. Staff members were retained to provide assistance in job skills development and life skills, with employment workshops scheduled to run from October 29 to October 31, the liquidators said.

Anger

Some Baha Mar employees yesterday expressed anger and hurt over the layoffs. One woman, who spoke to The Tribune anonymously, said she “can only pray that God sends something her way soon.”

“From this whole thing started, I began looking for another job because I knew this day was coming but that doesn’t make it any easier,” she said.

“I left a great paying job because I bought into the Baha Mar dream, which has now become a nightmare for me. I have no other means of income and I have been sending out my resume but I have not gotten any responses back. This is a blow. This is hard.”

Another employee said she is thankful she had the “common sense” to save money while she had a job.

“This is hard for me but I have some savings that I can live on, hopefully I will be able to get something else before that runs out. This is a shock to me, we kept getting promises that the resort would open soon but I guess it’s true when they say, a promise is a comfort to a fool,” she said. The firings come days after Tribune Business reported that Baha Mar’s joint provisional liquidators were terminating employees who have been “double dipping” by continuing to pocket a regular pay cheque despite finding another job.

According to a letter sent to one employee, which was seen by The Tribune, Mr Rahming asked the worker to return all company property and “reimburse the company with all salary and benefit payments received after the date from which you commenced employment with another company.”

In September, Justice Winder approved the government’s petition for the appointment of provisional liquidators for the stalled Baha Mar resort development to prevent the depletion of the $3.5 billion resort’s assets.

The government is seeking to wind up Baha Mar Ltd, Baha Mar Land Holdings Ltd, Baha Mar Properties Ltd, BMP3 (Wyndham Hotel) Ltd, BMP Golf Ltd, Cable Beach Resorts Ltd and Baha Mar Enterprises Ltd.

On June 29, Baha Mar and 14 of its affiliated companies filed for bankruptcy in a Delaware court, blaming the resort’s contractor, China Construction America (CCA), for the construction delays that caused it to miss previous opening deadlines. However, the bankruptcy claims for Baha Mar’s Bahamian-based companies were later thrown out of the US court.

A Supreme Court hearing is scheduled for November 2 for the resumption of the liquidation proceedings.

Comments

DillyTree 1 year, 10 months ago

One more nail in the BahaMar coffin.

Though not unexpected, there was always still a sliver of hope. Now it's gone.

So sorry for all the people who now have no jobs and little chance for one soon.

This is yet another legacy for the PLP to have to add to their growing list of failures. No doubt, S&P are already sharpening their pencils to downgrade the Bahamas to "junk" status. We, the Bahamian people, cannot take much more.

And to think this could have been avoided by allowing the Chapter 11 filing to go through. Instead, Mr. Christie made a big fuss about sovereignty and nursed his bruised ego. Instead of having a resort open and making money and providing jobs, we move into a very uncertain phase as Nov 2nd looms large. How many more mistakes will be made?

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Honestman 1 year, 10 months ago

Just enough time to put the final nail in the country's economic coffin by forcing through NHI without any proper preparation. We have the worst administration in the history of The Bahamas and yet people are still claiming that they will not vote for Minnis come May 2017!!!! What's wrong with Bahamians? How bad do you need to be to be kicked out of office????

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 10 months ago

Christie (aka Vomit), Maynard-Gibson (aka the Wicked Witch), Gomez (aka the Minion) and Bethel (aka the Bag Man) are fully responsible for these job losses. I laughed on hearing that the Wicked Witch is telling newspaper reporters and TV news reporters that the lay offs were made by the provisional liquidators against the wishes of government. This woman is an ugly pathological .......... I could say it but The Tribune would remove this post.

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Gladiator 1 year, 10 months ago

LMAO that's hilarious. Good on you Emac!!!

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John 1 year, 10 months ago

The problems of ignorance, arrogance and cockiness still prevail: Government could not comprehend what iIzmiriland was trying to accomplish when he filed for chapter 11 in Delaware. Bah Mar sought to be free from the claws of China Bank and China Construction company, who's work was sub par, so that any new financing could go toward completing the project and getting it open. The government in their ignorance, interfered with this process and with arrogance they flew off to China to meet with the people who the developer felt was the problem causing Bah Mar to become stalled, over budgeted and unable to be completed and opened after 3 postponements Then Christie became even more cocky, calling the developer of the project a mental case. Short lived was the glee when the courts ruled in the favor of the government taking possession of the winding up of Bah Ma,r because in ignorance or arrogance they did not realize the amount of money it would take, even to wind up Bah Mar. In fact the PM start giving deadlines, like November 2, for the developer to come back on board. Had the Christie government allowed natural justice to take its course, not only would Bah Mar not have lost Rose Wood, but the project could have been open at least be December. Now the future of the project and the fate of employees are more uncertain than ever. Thanks to the man who said, "after you go to your God and pray for something, you still have to come to me because I is the prime minister." Choose this day whom you will serve o Bahamaland!"

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Sickened 1 year, 10 months ago

I blame China Construction completely for this catastrophe. If they had done what they were contracted to do (i.e. timing and quality), then this would NEVER have happened. CCA is a failure and has made The Bahamas a failed state. We may NEVER bounce back from this. Perhaps this was CCA's plan all along???

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arussell 1 year, 10 months ago

I dont blame CCA I blame the government for mingling in this matter and not allowing Sarkis to file for chapter 11. This matter would've been resolve long time and Bahamar would've been open. Now what the hell must these people do? What is the government plan? If I was these Bahamar workers I would march on Bay and demand a solution. Now is the time for them to march and watch how many others will march with them. Its high time Mr. PM do his job

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BaronInvest 1 year, 10 months ago

How is it CCAs fault ? It's your government that is even embracing CCA to do nothing by siding with them.

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paul_vincent_zecchino 1 year, 10 months ago

The chicoms are expansionist in their thinking. They will appear to engage in commerce as part of a complex, twisted design to gain power over their 'partners'.

"Use capitalism to build communism to destroy the West." - Official state policy of the Peoples' Republic of China

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arussell 1 year, 10 months ago

I'm so tired of this government. From day one they didn't show any concerns when the Bahamian people voted NO to web shop gambling. This was a slap in our face and from that moment on I knew it was going to be a long 5 yrs. This government is corrupt beyond measures its ridiculous!! Come 2017 Gods will my vote is on Hurbert MInnis. I can't afford to take a chance with the DNA so its Minnis....

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Cobalt 1 year, 10 months ago

Yeah.... my wife and I were just discussing the same thing today. We're no fans of the FNM and neither of us voted in 2012. But it's obvious now that that was a gross mistake on our part.

At this point, our entire family has agreed that we must vote for Hubert Minnis and the FNM. Enough is enough. This government has to go. And the DNA is not a viable option at this time nor are the realistic or practical. I hope that I don't live to regret this, but the FNM is our only solution at this point in our history. We're going to give Dr. Minnis a chance. It's time for the people of the Bahamas to establish a leader who has never been influenced by the PLP.

So far..... all three of our historical Prime Ministers have served as PLP's. It's time we break that trend.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 10 months ago

You would have to be certifiably insane to vote for Minnis.......you can't possibly be that desperate! Just vote for whoever runs in your constituency as an independent provided he or she has no known ties to either the PLP or the FNM. If we elect enough independents they can then work together to form the necessary majority to agree on a PM and put together a cabinet. All of the ping ponging back and forth between the FNM and PLP has us where we are today. And I fully agree the DNA is also carrying much too much baggage to be a viable alternative to the PLP or FNM. Whatever you do, don't put our country in the hands of Minnis......absolutely nothing could be worse! With enough time, a decent size block of independents with the interests of the Bahamian people at heart will come together as true statesmen to find common ground to form an entirely party. We need to get past the PLP and FNM forever if we, the Bahamian people, are to survive.

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Cobalt 1 year, 10 months ago

Blah blah blah blah blah.

If we do this, if we do that, if we go over here, if we go over there, blah blah blah blah blah blah.

Listen...... the word "if" is a conjunction that could take you all over the world and back. Unfortunatley, conjunctions and conjecture is a luxury the Bahamas cannot afford. The PLP needs to go NOW. NOW, is the operative word. And the only practical option at this time to replace the PLP government is the FNM. You can talk as much "ifs" as you like. But the rest of us are grounded in reality.

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Reality_Check 1 year, 10 months ago

Mudda's right....a vote for the FNM just means more of the same....5 years later you would be voting PLP all over again...and round and round you would have us go, right down the toilet. Many of us do not relish the idea of Minnis being PM for even one day!

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Cobalt 1 year, 10 months ago

But what I'm saying is..... we cannot just use assumptions and broad conjectures when evaluating Mr. Minnis. We have to at least give the man a chance before we can criticize his performance.

The difference between he and the rest of our previous leaders is that this is actually the first opportunity that he will have to lead.

How would you feel if your job performance was prematurely judge based upon your affiliation with the person that you were replacing??? Would you consider that ethically fair??? I don't think so.

Our country needs a viable "GOVERNMENT" at this time. We need a holistic entity. Not random, independent individuals contending with other members of parliament of whose parties they do not belong. If this were to occur, it would only exacerbate the constant bickering already present in the HOA. How would an independent candidate get a Bill passed??? The Bahamas needs a government that's in congruence with one another. You guys are allowing your emotions to affect your better judgement. You guys seemed intoxicated with vexation, and I understand your pain.

I'm by no means saying that we don't need a third party.... because I feel that we do! But with 2017 fast approaching, and the indisputable fact that the PLP needs to go; the FNM is the closest thing to common sense that the Bahamas has right NOW. Not later.... but for NOW.

Who knows??? Maybe by 2022 (Lord's willing) a legitimate third party will be established enough to ignite the confidence of the Bahamian electorate. Then we won't have to deal with the old PLP or FNM for a long time. Hopefully.

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arussell 1 year, 10 months ago

I agree with you cobalt but I'm not going to take chances with voting DNA. Its either FNM or PLP and I can't vote PLP I just can't. Minnis is the only hope we have.

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DEDDIE 1 year, 10 months ago

No surprise here! Even if Bahamar was to open no vendor will provide them with credit. Pay as you go is extremely difficult for new entities,The government definitely miscalculated.

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GrassRoot 1 year, 10 months ago

Maybe Shame Gibson should run the unemployment numbers as he did after or better - during the Carnival -...

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Wideawake 1 year, 10 months ago

Can't wait to hear what Mr. Izmirilian REALLY thinks!! After Nov 2nd, when all of the deals are done, and the entire Baha Mar dream collapses, when the political jackals are licking their chops, when the Chinese gangsters are doing their happy dance, when Baha Mar's "used to be" employees are wondering WTF they can possibly do now, when Izzie finally accepts, what he has known in his heart for 9 months, that the FIX IS IN and his 800 million dream development has been wrested from his grasp. Then, finally, when he has nothing more to lose, he lets us know EXACTLY what he thinks of PGC, AMG, CCA, and the CHINA EXIM BANK and the rest of the marauding hoard who latched onto his BIG DREAM like feasting scavengers.

I cannot believe he will sit small and shrug his shoulders and walk away. We might well find out where ALL the bodies are buried, all of the dirty deals that were done, the identity of all of the bagmen, swindlers and corrupt and greedy politicians that have dogged Mr. Izmirilian's 15 year Baha Mar adventure!

Let the chips fall where they may, let the transgressors be named and shamed and let every Bahamian voter use this fiasco AS A TEACHABLE MOMENT, FOR US TO USE WHEN WE CAST OUR VOTES AT THE NEXT GENERAL ELECTION!!!!

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paul_vincent_zecchino 1 year, 10 months ago

Agree, the Chinese communist gangsters played a big albeit not readily apparent hand in this constructed fraud.

Driving past Baha Mar last week, all of us said it has the look of one of those big places in communist china; looks great all lit up at night but close up you can see it's made of sand.

It doesn't even have a Bahamian or tropical look, the place looks distinctly urban peking.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 10 months ago

Ceasar's Palace in Las Vegas is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, yet has managed to avoid laying off most of its employees and is now undergoing a $75 million upgrade of its property. Meanwhile our PM has forced Baha Mar to be liquidated in the Bahamas to enrich his lawyer friends and other political friends and business cronies in the private sector at the expense of poor Bahamians in desperate need of jobs. The Baha Mar Citizens and the rest of the Bahamian people got royally bamboozled by Perry Christie, Allyson Maynard-Gibson, Damian Gomez and Baltron Bethel because of the back-room deals that have been cut by the Christie led-PLP government with its new corrupt Chinese friends to swindle the Izmirlian family out of $900+ million for the benefit of themselves and certain key senior executives of the China Construction Company of America (CCA) and the China Export-Import Bank! The four Bahamians I have named here are evil beyond comprehension when it comes to them looking out for their own selfish greedy corrupt needs at the expense of the people they were elected to serve!!

http://news.yahoo.com/caesars-palace-turning-50-getting-75-million-upgrade-131747298.html

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banker 1 year, 10 months ago

This is what Baha Mar will look like in six months.

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by banker

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Reality_Check 1 year, 10 months ago

And that's also what Chinese cement looks like after a category 2 hurricane. We must ask ourselves why was Christie so hell bent on allowing The Pointe Project adjacent to the B.C. Hilton to go forward after the Baha Mar debacle where they (China Construction Company of America- CCA) simply walked away from their contractual obligations to Baha Mar leaving thousands of Bahamians unemployed? Why would Perry Christie, Allyson Maynard-Gibson and Baltron Bethel be only too happy to approve another major construction project for CCA as majority owners of The Pointe notwithstanding that CCA betrayed thousands of Baha Mar Citizens, leaving them unemployed with Christmas around the corner? I will tell you why. In a nutshell there is no end to the insatiable corrupt appetite of the three individuals I have named here. The PM has his son, among others, making a fortune off of The Pointe project with no explanation on the PM's part as to how he could have approved money being poured by CCA into the pockets of his son notwithstanding the egregious conflict of interest. The stench of corruption here is overwhelming!

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Wideawake 1 year, 10 months ago

Like many other Bahamians I am holding my nose and sayin Whoooeee...dat one dead bad stink!!!!

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paul_vincent_zecchino 1 year, 10 months ago

All of us in the car did a double take as we passed the B.C. Hilton last week and saw signs for The Pointe.

You gotta be kidding, another chicom talon-hold on the Bahamas?

Cui bono, 'who benefits' here?

The expansionist, grasping claws of the chicoms are becoming more visible with each passing project, aren't they?

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Jetflt 1 year, 10 months ago

Another failure of leadership by the government. Wake up Bahamas!!!!

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MonkeeDoo 1 year, 10 months ago

Christie has no shame and none of the others even know how it is spelled. Steffan has got the money from the CCA deal, but you can bet your last Pindling Dollar that he is sharing that with Daddy. And it wasn't banked at BOB. Try Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank (HSBC) in Hong Kong or New York or London. Some jail time is in order after the next election.

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 10 months ago

I wonder if these politicians will be like the BEC bribe taker Ramsey, unable to have peace in their twilight years as the world court uncovers all the dirty deals they've facilitated

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SP 1 year, 10 months ago

Christie and Ingraham played the same game. Hope they share the same cell.

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SP 1 year, 10 months ago

......................................................... Legacy .............................................................

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 10 months ago

Just think how much Christie and his family have pocketed from allowing Communist Chinese to build their state owned development known as The Pointe within extremely close proximity to the U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas. While Red China is constructing The Point, they will build into it the very latest state-of-the-art intelligence gathering technologies in order to snoop in on just about any and every things that goes on at or passes through the U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas. Fred Mitchell apparently told Perry Christie sometime ago that the Bahamas needs to teach the U.S. a lesson or two, and Christie agreed this was the case. Seems the Christie-led PLP government is fed up with U.S. policies aimed at detroying or hurting both our tourism industry and our financial services sector, e.g. negative travel alerts by the U.S. Dept of State, downgrading of Bahamas credit ratings by U.S. controlled interests like S&P and Moody's, the unfavourable policies proposed by the U.S. controlled IMF, World Bank and IDB that only serve to increase our national debt, the recent blacklisting of our banking sector from Washington D.C., the imposition of FATCA by the IRS/U.S. Dept of State, etc., etc., etc. Christie and Mitchell both still believe they have little choice but to curry great favour with Red China so they no doubt had Allyson Maynard-Gibson and Baltron Bethel seal The Pointe deal with the appropriate government officials of Red China for the purpose of sticking a finger in the eye of the U.S. Government. The Obama administration and their lack luster dim witted Secretary of State, John Kerry, have yet to figure out the severity of what is going on down here in the Bahamas and the extent to which U.S. security interests are being terribly compromised by ongoing espionage attacks of Red China on the U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas. The U.S. is being subjected to ever increasing Chinese cyber-warfare from within Nassau (just across the street from the U.S. Embassy), just a mere 180 miles away from the coast of South Florida. Wow! One really has to wonder who's dumber....the Americans or the Bahamians!!

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