BVI News

Over 14 months without wages has been ‘tough’, says Prospect Reef security guard

By Esther Durand, BVI News Staff

Surviving without a salary in the British Virgin Islands for more than 14 months has been described as ‘tough’ by a security officer guarding the dilapidated Prospect Reef Hotel.

Speaking to BVI News on Monday, Lou George* said he has lost his ability to be a ‘man’ and provide for his family. 

“You are sitting down around the table and eating and you not providing. That’s how you’re feeling that a woman providing for you … it’s tough,” he said.

George said he has had to make many adjustments in his life because he has not received a salary for more than a year. He told BVI News he has been unable to repair his vehicle and can no longer afford to have a credit card.

“There were certain things I try to cut from because I can’t take care of it. Good thing some of us have spouses that work and is able to take care of the family,” he said with a look of sadness on his face,” George said.

He said he and his coworkers now use their day-offs to seek out the occasional odd job to earn some kind of income. 

 “We do get a little here and there but it is nothing permanent. I think this is how some of us survive because remember this is our sole source — our salary,” the security guard explained. 

Security a blessing to Prospect Reef

Notwithstanding the run-down condition that Prospect Reef Hotel is in, George — who has been employed at Prospect Reef for several years — described the security presence that himself and his two coworkers provide at the state-owned facility as important. 

He explained that the hurricane-ruined hotel would have been the home of several squatters who were seeking shelter following the hurricanes of 2017.

He also mentioned that youngsters are deterred from loitering at the facility because of the constant presence of a security guard.

With no electricity at the facility, George also said “here just be very dark” and could be the recipe for illegal activities. 

Looking forward to a bright Christmas

The unpaid security officer told our news centre he is now keeping hope alive that he and his coworkers will receive their outstanding payments in time for the upcoming holiday season.

“I said, ‘let’s hope for the best that we get it before Christmas so our family could be happy’,” he said.

George further told BVI News he would “flood the house with stuff” and give attention to some areas of his life that he has had to neglect for more a year.

Background

The Prospect Reef employees were promised payment in full by the end of August. However, two months later, that promise has not materialized.

Fahie said there were a few reasons behind the delayed payment.

“First, Prospect Reef is a shareholding company established by legislation in this House of Assembly including a memorandum of articles of association. Fifty percent of the shares are held by the Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office, and the other fifty per cent is held by the Financial Secretary on behalf of the government,” the Premier said.

“Secondly, under the Prospect Reef Management Act 2005, there is to be a non-executive body including a managing director to manage the day to day affairs of the Prospect Reef Management Company,” he added.

The use of * represents name change requested by source

Copyright 2019 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

23 Comments

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  1. ss says:

    VERY SAD INDEED FOR THESE LOYAL SECUITY GUARDS.

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  2. SAD says:

    VERY SAD INDEED FOR THESE VERY LOYAL SECURITY GARDS.

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  3. One eye fowl cock says:

    Living on the compound rent free give me a break

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  4. SMDH says:

    Fire them now. What the h**l are we paying them for anyway.

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  5. Leave! says:

    I would leave long time!

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  6. :) says:

    This is beyond pathetic. Why would anyone stay at a job and not be paid for over a year? There is no more slavery almost everywhere on earth. There is no need for a security guard anymore. Vagrants tend to stay places where they can find everything they need and people to beg and harass. Prospect has none of those things. “Youngsters” were not loitering there when things were flourishing so why would they go there now in this condition. This man need to go and find a job. Just standing around with no real purpose waiting to be paid is not a job. Don’t wait until your wife get angry or fed up and tell you how she really feel.

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  7. Kingfish says:

    The hundreds of thousands dollars that will be paid to the law firm the Speaker of the HOA engaged to fight the sitting of Hon Vanterpool could have been used to pay these LOYAL SECURITY GUARDS. Their salaries would have been spent in the BVI, the funds to pay the lawyers are headed to Trinidad.

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    • Haha says:

      This isn’t loyalty. This is stupidity. The place is damaged and not in use. What are they securing? 14 months is too long to be waiting to get paid. This cannot be their only job option in life that they will stay at a job even when not paid for 14 months. They need to go look work. Who is monitoring when they come and go? How are we sure that they are even attending work everyday? Who do they report to? This is pure nonsense.

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  8. Dman says:

    This is nothing but double talk. The money is a small drop in the government bucket. Shameful.
    Pay up !

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  9. SAD says:

    SMHHHHHHHH!!!! How is this allowed to even happen??????

  10. The General says:

    Um, is he sure he is still employed? If so, hold the govt to account.

    And the Premier’s reason is b@llsh$t, so you have a closely held company which has two shareholders (both under control of govt) – sort it out. An embarrasment.

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  11. Nonsense says:

    Firstly there is no security officer there by that name.what are they securing they have already sold everything that’s left there what they should be doing this s cutting the bushes there instead of just sitting there on there backside doing nothing. I would like to know if the government is still paying the firmer manager and if yes for what.

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  12. What says:

    Is this a joke? Why is security needed there? And you trying to tell me you “working” at a hotel that’s destroyed and not functional, you not getting paid and yet you stay there for over a year? They must be expecting some big paid out or something.

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  13. Eh says:

    Why is he still there then? I’m sure he can easily find another security job elsewhere. Is he stuck under a contract? Because he is just wasting time by showing up to a job that isn’t paying

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  14. Concern says:

    I would have filed a complaint with labour Dept, as well as a lawsuit.

  15. Political Observer (PO) says:

    Prospect Reef is a government-owned facility that was damaged by monster Hurricanes Irma and Maria and government should shoulder the burden and blame for the plight of Mr. George and other employees. Don’t want to hear it inherited the problem from the NDP, for the election was held on 02/25/19. If government is the employer and there was no need for employees at Prospect Reef at this time, it should have transferred them somewhere else or lay them off or terminate them.

    Further, if government decided to keep the employees, it should pay them in a timely manner. If Mr. George is correct, it is shameful, heartless, in-compassionate, selfish……..etc to let someone work for 14 months without pay. The blame is laid at the Premier’s feet. Hon Fahie, time for action, not talk. Walk the walk and talk the talk.

    “First, Prospect Reef is a shareholding company established by legislation in this House of Assembly including a memorandum of articles of association. Fifty percent of the shares are held by the Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office, and the other fifty per cent is held by the Financial Secretary on behalf of the government,” the Premier said. I’m an ignoramus when it comes to finance. I’m confused so can someone set straight as to why shares are being by Permanent Secretaries.

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  16. yes says:

    Time to get another job sweetheart

  17. let's be reAlistic says:

    What the Premiere said is no bearing to the wondering mines right now, as to who has shares. The point remains is that he made a promise and should uphold to it. The same money that he takes to secure his security, why not take that and pay the individuals at Prospect Reef. And by the way…, I don’t think that the officers would be there at Prospect Reef, if they were not told to be there or expected to be there. There have been some properties around the world, that is in similar to prospect reef and has security measures put in place, so it no different here. It is state own.
    Just saying…

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