Club Barbados workers to protest “payment plan”

Workers at The Club Barbados are expected to be out in their numbers today in front the Holetown, St James resort.

One worker who spoke to Nation News on condition of anonymity said: “Based on the agreement by management, we would have ceased our efforts to get National Insurance (severance). With five days to go before the bigger payment, the company is now looking to back out of that and leave us high and dry, and now turning to NIS to pay us.

“That cannot be fair. Everybody struggling right now. We have been taken for a ride and now we expect to get our money next week and with this, we don’t know when we will see what is rightly ours. People have children to mind and bills to pay.”

Last month, management of the resort sent correspondence to the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) detailing how severance payments would be met and the workers paid.

In a letter dated October, 14, 2020, and signed by senior vice president Mark Grebby, a copy of which was obtained by this newspaper, Grebby noted the hotel was committed to meeting all of its financial obligations to staff.

Grebby said they had to “slightly adjust our original payment plan”, and would make payments in October and November, and by the end of this month all employees would be paid in full.

Staff received all vacation money in full in on September 15, 2020, at the union’s request, to help with some immediate financial relief during the resort’s closure. The hotel has been closed since the country’s lockdown back in March.

The Club agreed to distribute payments in lieu of notice in full, less any deductions and outstanding staff loans where applicable, on October 21. They also agreed to pay staff 25 per cent of the total severance due to them, less any deductions for any remaining staff loans, with the balance to be paid on November 21.

The letter added staff would be given formal letters of redundancy, a statement of any payments due them, and a final certificate of employment.

However, on November 13, management sent another letter, signed by general manager Caroline Gallichan-Hurley, stating they had hoped to pay the remaining 75 per cent of monies owed directly, but had engaged services of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) to help cover the balance.

“Originally, we were hoping to pay your severance directly, but we must now work with the NIS due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. . . . Please know that representatives from the NIS have agreed to come to the hotel [today] to speak with you and help you complete all the paperwork needed to process your remaining severance payments as swiftly and accurately as possible,” the document read.

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