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Atlantis Workers Still Have To Pay Up: Unvaccinated Staff Must Cover Cost Despite Bell Claim

The Atlantis resort on Paradise Island.

The Atlantis resort on Paradise Island.

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Tribune Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

 ATLANTIS has maintained its position that unvaccinated employees are financially responsible for their weekly rapid antigen tests despite a recent announcement from a government minister that the resort had agreed to hold off on the policy.

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A spokesperson for the mega resort yesterday told The Tribune the policy took effect on October 1.

“Atlantis has not changed its stance as it relates to non-vaccinated team members,” a brief statement from the Paradise Island resort noted. “As of October 1, all non-vaccinated team members are now financially responsible for their rapid antigen test.”

Labour and Immigration Minister Keith Bell told reporters less than a week ago that Atlantis had agreed to “hold off” on implementing its COVID-19 vaccination policy for unvaccinated staff after several discussions were held between labour officials and resort executives on the new rule.

However this is not the case.

The hotel’s refusal to stand down was met yesterday with harsh criticism from Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union President Darrin Woods who called the policy “modern day slavery.”

 When contacted, Mr Woods said requiring workers to pay $16.50 per week for rapid antigen tests was not only a financial burden, but a tool to force people to get vaccinated.

 “We actually turned that over to the Labour Department from Monday for the government to do what is necessary to enforce the law,” Mr Woods said yesterday.

“The minister said he had spoken to them, and they were supposed to be rolling back but now apparently they went ahead with it.”

 He also said: “We still believe that the workers shouldn’t pay. We are looking for them to enforce the law.

 “They are not supposed to be doing this. You are asking people to pay. . .$17. These people get paid every two weeks and plus they are only working reduced days so how are they supposed to do it?

 “So, what they are doing is forcing them to go and get vaccinated.

 “That’s how slavery comes about. You get people to do what you want them to do by doing some things to them. Financially is one way to enslave people. Their jobs is another way. Its modern-day slavery. That’s what it is.”

 In a letter sent to staff last Wednesday, Audrey Oswell, Atlantis’ president and managing director, announced that all unvaccinated staff will be “financially responsible” for paying for their weekly $16.50 rapid antigen test starting October 1.

 The policy was announced earlier this year and initially expected to come into effect in September.

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ATLANTIS workers being tested previously - but now unvaccinated workers will have to pay for the cost of their weekly COVID tests.

 According to Ms Oswell, the order was a part of the resort’s approach in “putting the community’s health and the economy first.”

“As we have shared since July, Atlantis will not pay the cost of testing indefinitely. We also will not continue to encourage testing as an alternative to vaccination,” Ms Oswell said.

 “… By getting the free and widely available vaccine, you are protecting yourself and your family, colleagues, our guests, and the community from COVID-19. You are also playing an essential role in helping achieve a COVID-free Bahamas, which is the only path forward for our economy and tourism to thrive again,” she said.

 In response, Mr Bell last week said government officials were seeking advice from the Office of the Attorney General on the matter, however he told reporters that Atlantis had agreed to delay the policy.

 “I have reached out to the Director of Labour, Mr Robert Farquharson, and he’s communicated with Atlantis and there are a number of other employers who are concerned about that because they want to ensure that they comply with the legislation which is to ensure a safe work environment,” Mr Bell told reporters last week.

 “In order to ensure that there is a safe work environment, they have to ensure that all of their employees are either vaccinated or tested to make sure that they don’t bring COVID into the workplace. We have been able to convince Atlantis and the other private sector employers to hold off on implementing that policy.”

 He also said last week: “I’ve consulted with the Office of the Attorney General and I’ve spoken with the attorney general this morning to give us legal advice and we will be guided by the advice of the attorney general. And so he has already, I believe, directed (officials) to ensure that the advice is given timely and so I would wait on that advice, but Atlantis is holding off on that policy. That’s the main thing to be had.”

Comments

carltonr61 2 months ago

Just stupid. Real world data presents this decision as simple forced vaccination ploy as the vaccinated are being tested more as covid spreaders. Former leader is still behind the scene with his vaccine shotgun crew.

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carltonr61 2 months ago

100% vaccine failure across the globe and remain stupid in forcing vaccinations. The Merck Pharmaceutical Covid Killer Pill seeking Emergency Use from FDA to stop deaths is being ignored as it spells a death penalty for get rich experimental vaccine pushers. That vaccine brainwash has stalled the unvaccinated are being slave whipped into conformity as both vaccinated and refused could spread virus and also die from it

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DreamerX 2 months ago

What is this data you refer to?

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stillwaters 2 months ago

But......I thought the government campaigned on the promises of free testing and widespread testing.......what happened? Testing is down and testing is still not free.

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JokeyJack 2 months ago

Lucy pulled away the football again Charlie Brown.

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bahamianson 2 months ago

well, there you go, Atlantis was paying for the test the entire time . The workers must now pay " their fare share'. So, the workers want Atlantis to carry them on its back? Please stop resorting to the RACE CARD every time a dispute does not go your way.

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DonAnthony 2 months ago

No one is entitled to a job. Employees pay for the test, get vaccinated or quit. We need to stop coddling these unions.

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JokeyJack 2 months ago

They should also pay for all broken tools, "lost" inventory, and outdated food items that are disposed of. Why not? As you say, they are not entitled to a job. Take it or leave it.

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carltonr61 2 months ago

Brave won 95% because of leadership. The testing issue pales beyond white nearer to clear in trying to hide its totalitarian tortuous anti-social fearful Middle East army or jailer characteristics. Only those with the mark of the beast Vax card should live in peace.

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carltonr61 2 months ago

Amazing that the world is calling for third and fourth shots without also saying failure of two shots vaccinated persons also needing to be tested. The narrative got silent that vaccinated persons need to be tested as covid spreaders. Only non vaccinated covid negative persons are guaranteed unable to spread covid.

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JokeyJack 2 months ago

A friend of mine said he cant wait to get vaccinated so he can spread the virus.

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themessenger 2 months ago

SSDD, the union and the government trying to dictate to the private sector how their employment contracts should be drafted.

If you don't like Atlantis' terms of employment get a government job where erryting free even lunch, or call Keith Bell he ga get you straight.

This sort of nonsense starts at the top, why just a day or two ago the Prime Minister was tryin to dictate to a foreign Judge that they should drop the case against his numbers bankroller. SMT!

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TalRussell 2 months ago

In other "No Foolin' News from The Homefront the Guardian's Talk Radio station's Comrade "Talkie Show Host" Juan, rushed to inform his show's listeners' to know something that not even Comrade Grocer Rupert knows and everthing likes that's of there being a Peanuts shortage. But the good news is the Peanunt shortgage is restricted to the Popoulaces within the boundary of Nassau Town and he's allright with all that, — Yes?

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SgtVoight 2 months ago

Im sorry but you cant have your cake and eat it......If you choose not to take it ok your choice. But how can you expect a company to foot the bill for your weekly test? It aint Burger King " Have it your way"...Make it make sense! This is a nonsensical issue.

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carltonr61 2 months ago

For health logical reasoning the whole world's covid alert protocol calls for testing both vexed and refuses becsucsuse the virus takes no hostages. They might as well come right out and say forced vaccination because you are likely a carrier/spreader more so asymptomatic than a negative refused. The FNM mandate of coercion pitting starvation of your babies against experiamtal vaccine is criminal. We all suffer when crime rises due to vaccine totalitarianism. Denmark and Iceland did it all with manditory vaccination still cases persisted. Realizing the dogged futility that after near 100% vaccination lead to high cases, deaths and lockdown they concluded that the only heath reality was that covid is here to stay work with it. Atlantis is recreating the wheel. Unless they have an agenda to rid the company of staff.

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TigerB 2 months ago

This is an easy one... resign... we in the Bahamas don't own anything, but we still, thru these unions try to force the owners to bend to our demands.

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