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Change In Classification For Pointe Workers

Brent Symonette

Brent Symonette

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

SOME labourers at The Pointe development were reclassified by the Department of Immigration, Brent Symonette said yesterday, adding developer China Construction America is now paying the increased fees relating to semi-skilled and skilled labourers.

He explained this to the media yesterday after it was reported that Attorney General Carl Bethel addressed the issue in the Senate on Monday.

During the sitting, Mr Bethel said he observed foreigners doing jobs they were not needed for.

Mr Symonette, minister of immigration, said: “I noticed this morning that I think the attorney general had made comments on the question on seeing people laying blocks.

“With regard to The Pointe, there have been applications processed in the initial phase. They were for labourers.”

“The Ministry of Labour met with China State Construction and we sorted that issue out and the labourers have been reclassified in the appropriate work class section and paying the increased fees that relate to semi-skilled or skilled labourers.”

The labour component at the $200m development has drawn anger from the Bahamian Contractors Association, which has repeatedly called for more Bahamians to be included in the work.

In May, BCA President Leonard Sands called for the renegotiation of The Pointe deal as a result of issues the developer seemed to have with adhering to the agreed workforce ratio.

The heads of agreement between China Construction America and the government states 70 percent of the workers are supposed to be Bahamian and 30 percent should be foreign.

The Department of Labour found in May a disproportionate number of foreign workers to Bahamian workers at the downtown project.

At the time, there were 73 foreign workers and 24 Bahamians working on the site.

Despite this, Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes said the developers were not in breach of the agreement.

The revelation followed Mr Foulkes’ meeting with Daniel Liu, president of The Pointe, his vice-president and their legal counsel.

While acknowledging the disproportionate work force, Pointe officials said at this present stage of construction, representing the second phase of development, specialised post-tension concrete structure workers are needed to complete this phase in a very short time frame, the minister explained.

These developments were made public after Tribune photographers previously monitored who went on to the construction site and with the exception of three or four Bahamians and a guard at the gates of the development, everyone else appeared to be Chinese.

In both January and February, this newspaper observed workers on the site and it was a similar story. Dozens of Chinese builders walked on to the site every day from a building, which lodges the workers opposite the development, and virtually no Bahamians were anywhere to be seen.

Comments

Alex_Charles 2 years, 3 months ago

Someone is getting paid off as usual in this shit. God I'm tired of this 'country'.

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DDK 2 years, 3 months ago

Or how much do WE owe "The Chinese"?

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Alex_Charles 2 years, 3 months ago

Christie those banked the entire economy on Chinese investment. So I gather we owe a lot.

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TalRussell 2 years, 3 months ago

A Mickey Mouse operation it is Comrade Brent..... likes this has be a first for a government have chase down approved applicants show up be sworn is a new citizens colony islands. { Tell me, please that this one is made up.... likes how much farther does a country go babysit citizenship applicants.... why not dispatch Imperial red shirts clowns Bus - picks
them up ? }.

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jujutreeclub 2 years, 3 months ago

Reclassified. Fa real. Send they behind back home. The CCA breached their contact/agreement. They were brought in as unskilled laborers and not paying any sort of fees. They are doing bahamian construction workers jobs. How long must we suffer as a people with foreigners taking our jobs and treating us as donkeys. I say revoke those permits because they deceived the government. Should have learnt from Baha Mar. CCA is a crooked company and need to be shut down. I am tired of them.

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TheMadHatter 2 years, 3 months ago

Trump is dealing with China. Their economy is starting to slow down something serious and their debt is rising.

They are being weakened slowly but surely. In less than 2 years it will be time to follow the orders of Robert Nester Marley and "Chase them crazy baldheads of of town."

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TalRussell 2 years, 3 months ago

Just more evidence of Imperial red shirts are not hungry for generational change as evident about distancing the red party away from change with the rush firing three younger comrade MP's... again doing exactly likes PLP did with their "too stubborn and mouthy" younger MP's.

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Sickened 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm sorry but I TOTALLY missed Brent's point here. Is he saying - yes some of the foreign laborers were laying blocks and so we have changed their work class and are now charging them more in permit fees??? If so, wouldn't it be more appropriate to say - yes some of the foreign laborers were laying blocks so we have cancelled their permits and have ensured that Bahamians were hired to do this work? After all, putting $10,000 in the hands of several Bahamians would be A LOT better for the economy than $10,000 going into the governments hand.

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DDK 2 years, 3 months ago

I did not get what Mr. Symonette said either, but then I rarely do. It must be politicanspeak (BS). LOL!!!

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sealice 2 years, 3 months ago

The BCA should stay the hell away from the pointe if the pointe is built in the same way bahmar was/is it won't be a very sharp point for very long and by staying away the BCA could say i told you so and have an even stronger argument the next time the PLP forces more foreigner labour on us. Besides aren't Abaco and Eleuthera constantly building still? MHH is just as dirty and crime ridden as Nassau the workers won't even realize there isn't fast food cept kentucky....

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Chucky 2 years, 3 months ago

I realize now that 99 percent of our population are hypocrites in that they bitch about our own useless people; ie working at BEC and call for foreign to come run it so we can have steady power. Yet I'm sadly disappointed to also notice about the same percentage is stupid. I.e. this is not an article about Bahamian jobs; cause ain't no Bahamian elite gonna buy and re develop the Hilton, no, no chance. But the foreign will. And that makes this their money, their land and their job. I laugh, most of our big mouth, fat, undereducated, lazy and bad attitude people deserve what deh get, and that is employment if deh lucky, and unemployment and starvation if not. I don't feel I owed even the littlest piece of work there at the point. How is it all u fools think that be your job. ?

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johnmcntsh 2 years, 3 months ago

@Chucky!!
Funny you went from "they" to "dey". You went from speaking english very well to speaking as if you had not learned the language past grammar school This is usually reserved for trolls from another country who are online to start trouble. As a matter of fact I AM SURE OF IT!

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Chucky 2 years, 3 months ago

Hey John, why would I troll from another country. Is this the best you can do ? Can't discredit what I say. Could I have this insight without being part of society. Don't think I know who Brent is? Don't think I grew up in the nastiness of Nassau. You don't think I have the right to call it like I see it?
Why don't you go through all my posts and come back and tell me what I aint right bout. Better yet go through all my posts and tell me I foreign.

you and ass, and in denial, and u is part of the 99% I describe.

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joeblow 2 years, 3 months ago

Brent Symonette is not to be trusted to protect the interests of the Bahamas!!

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