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Marinas accused of laying off locals for expats

Delores Christopher

Claims about native captains and crews being sidelined in the marine industry have been well promulgated, but Government lawmaker Delores Christopher this week shone the spotlight on another area of the industry that – before now – was not widely reputed to discriminate against locals.

She told the House of Assembly on Monday that operators of marinas have been sacking employees who are British Virgin Islands natives.

Christopher, who represents the Fifth Electoral District in the House of Assembly, further indicated that the lay-offs are being done to hire expatriates.

She added that there is no truth to claims that expats are being hired because natives are not interested in the marina jobs.

“One of the injustices that is also continuing is that our people are often laid off from the marinas, and then you see other people come in and fill those positions.”

“And it’s been said that we don’t like to work. Cleaning boats and painting – all these things are part of the industry that are being gradually taken away from BVIslanders on purpose, because there are some other people who want to take everything – everything for themselves,” the legislator claimed during her contribution to a debate on the Cruise Permit (Amendment) Act 2017.

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