By TANYA SMITH-CARTWRIGHT
AFTER a wave of layoffs at Baha Mar this week, one former employee said losing her job left her with “anguish in my heart”.
She described her layoff as a heart wrenching process. “I have to go home without the slightest knowledge of where money will come from after I’ve spent my severance. All I feel is anguish in my heart,” she said. The former Baha Mar employee said she was with the company from its inception and feels there should be more consideration given to staff.
“I am not sure what is going on here, but this disengagement exercise seems to have a very long arm. I don’t know who is going to be left when they have finished this exercise. I understand we have been locked down for months, however, the borders are now open again so there is hope that the guests will come.”
The laid off worker said it is her hope that in the future when other property investors negotiate with government to operate in The Bahamas, some clause is put in the paperwork to “take care of the employees properly”. She said she was told that when the hotel reopens she can reapply for her job, but she will not be given preferential treatment because of her previous employment.
Meanwhile Mario Almanzar, food and beverage manager at SLS at Baha Mar, has not been laid off and is hopeful that his employment will remain in place.
“I’ve not gotten any word to say I’ve been laid off,” he said. “I’ve been off from work since March. God has been really good. That’s all that I can sum it up to say. We were paid a certain percentage of our salaries by Baha Mar and the rest by National Insurance. It’s not what my salary was, far from it, but it has really been good. God has been good to us that our employer sought to make sure we were okay.
“Kudos to our GM, Axel, for coming together and making this decision. I think this was a big step and an amazing look for Baha Mar and the SLS brand itself. They didn’t have to do it. Businesses are closing without paying their staff, but we got to be home with a salary. This was wonderful.”
Asked what he did to pass the time while furloughed, he said he managed to do some chores around the house, get some rest and enjoy family time.
Hundreds of resort workers were laid off this week. Baha Mar has said it had to make the difficult, but necessary choice to reduce staff to adequately align with projected business levels.
The resort is expected to reopen in October.