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Legislator to take Long Bay Beach to Labour Department

BVI News Online - Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013 at 6:39 PM

First District representative Andrew Fahie said he is heading to the Labour Department with concerns that have been brought to his attention regarding the temporary closure and impending scaling down of operations at Long Bay Beach Resort and Villa.

The resort, which is located in the First District, will be closed from August 19 to October 25, 2013.

In a letter last week, the management of the property gave staff the option between resigning and keeping their jobs under certain conditions.

Those who decide not to resign will be laid off during the period of closure, and will be allowed to work for fewer days whenever the resort reopens.

In relation to those who opt to resign, the hotel noted that there is only limited amount of funds for severance, adding that persons will be paid on a first-come-first-served basis until the money is finished.

Fahie told BVI News Online that, in his capacity as representative of the First District, he has received a number of complaints from employees regarding different aspects of the resort’s closure.

He further stated that he held a meeting with some of the employees yesterday and is preparing to approach the Labour Department for assistance.

“The contacts with Labour are being made by their district representative so that they can be given the most fair treatment; not what the management of Long Bay consider as fair, but is fair to the employees – especially those who have been there for years,” Fahie said.

“It’s not a simple matter by any stretch of the imagination, but fairness must be able to reign and we are depending on the Labour Department and the Ministry of Labour to step into the situation and ensure that the rights of the employees – especially those who have been serving for years – are adhered to.”

The First District representative – among other things – wants the Labour Department to verify that the action taken in relation to the employees are justified, and that the current employees are reemployed whenever the resort reopens.

“The general concern raised by the employees is one of concern. Whenever you are faced with not having a job and your bills are still coming in, you don’t want to hear much back and forth, you want to see some solutions because it’s a very tough time for these employees. For some of them, this is the only job that they had.”

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  1. Ancient of Days
    July 24, 2013
    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    The Department of Labor dropped the ball. The DOL should have already called a meeting for all parties involved; the Resort, the Employees’ Representatives (union)and the DOL and its attorneys. The minister for that district would certainly want to attend.

    The first step is to determine what this is exactly. Is it a “Plant Closing” meaning it will not reopen or at least not under the current ownership or is it a scale down meaning lay offs are definite but, the current ownership will remain.

    Either way a settlement must be reached for the employees. If it is just a temporary closing for renovations and scale down why ask the employees to resign? Lay them off.

    If a new owner is coming in then that would explain asking them to resign, however, severance is owed to all employees. However, if they voluntarily resign no severance is required and the new owners do not have to rehire them.

    This is where the DOL comes in. DOL should demand that no sale/transfer take place, no permits etc granted until and unless each employee is paid at least a week’s pay for every year that the employee has worked.

    As per my post last week, it should be a month’s pay for every year that the employee has worked and then the DOL can negotiate from there.

    Again, the Department of Labour dropped the proverbial ball.

    The mere fact that the Honorable Minister for that district is leading the charge indicates that the Department of Labour is unclear about its function when labor issues such as this arise.

    This should have been settled the moment the first employee complained.

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  2. My my my...
    July 23, 2013
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

    I am not a 100% Fahie fan but I must admit, like him or not, he is a fearless fighter for the rights of the people.

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  3. the law
    July 23, 2013
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

    Andrew hasnt been at the top of my list recently but the Labour Code is clear with respect to severence. If the letters are per above there seems to be grounds for complaint. Asking people to resign to avoid paying them severence is wrong.

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    • BVI lawyer
      July 23, 2013
      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

      I am not involved in this case, but I think this is more likely to be a case where the employer says: we need to make cut-backs, but if instead anyone would like to take voluntary redundancy (usually on slightly more attractive financial terms) then a limited number of people will be able to do that. Asking people to resign to avoid paying them severance is almost unheard of, and clearly no employee would ever be foolish enough to agree to such a thing.

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  4. vip
    July 23, 2013
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 6

    Andrew i agree with you for this hotel is in your district…Look out for your people!

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  5. yeahhh
    July 23, 2013
    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

    Good going Andrew

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  6. GOSH
    July 23, 2013
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 4

    What is Labour gonna dO??? NOTHING.

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