By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Senior Reporter
BAHAMAS Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union president Darrin Woods said officials are eager for employers to follow the provisions of the Employment Act once again and either give severance packages to long furloughed workers who they intend to make redundant or return those employees to work.
Clint Watson, press secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, confirmed last month that the Davis administration will not continue suspending the relevant provision of the Employment Act that allows employers to furlough workers during the pandemic.
Although the policy change could result in some people losing their jobs, Mr Woods yesterday said this is not a concern.
“It is not a concern because at the end of the day this has been going on for almost two years now,” he said. “There is fatigue. People just want some closure to this. We just want the law to be followed and for employers to bring finality to this whole situation with persons out on furlough so that they can move on with their lives one way or another.”
Mr Woods could not say how many hotel workers are currently furloughed.
“We had a meeting last week for persons to indicate how many are still out on furlough so we don’t know the numbers as yet,” he said.
Mr Woods said “some (employees) want to go back (to work) and some just want to part ways” and be paid their severance package.
Former Labour Director John Pinder recently said there are pros and cons to the policy shift. “Our economy shows some sign of further rebounding where businesses are now making money and if they can afford to bring back staffers it might be feasible to do what the administration is doing,” Mr Pinder said. “The extra 30 days gives them an opportunity to remodel their businesses or they have to find monies to pay those persons or make them redundant. I don’t know if the economy has rebounded to the point where businesses are booming for them to do so.”