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P. O.

BOX AP59223- 450


NASSAU, THE BAHAMAS
philippsmith@gmail.com
14th November 2014
The Editor
Dear Editor:
BAHAMAR STAFF DISMISSALS
A few days ago, the massive resort development, Baha Mar,
announced that it had laid off 190 workers from its Crystal Palace
facility, some having been a part of the family for up to twenty years.
Word is that a number of workers will shortly be laid off from the
Casino element.
These dismissals occurred against the background that the
company touts that it is creating new jobs amounting to between 4,000
and 7,000, depending to who is talking at what event. Of course, no one
mentions that 2,500 of these new jobs will replace the jobs lost when the
company retrenched and, subsequently, closed facilities during the
period leading up to construction and during construction. Of course,
working alongside the more than 1,000 Chinese nationals employed by
the Chinese State owned China Construction as construction workers

building Baha Mar Company are a few dozen Bahamian construction


workers and security staff.

All of this casually takes place in our country over and over again.
Every time large layoffs happen, organised labour makes public noise,
and others join in, promising that this has got to stop. But, it never
does.
This is all carried out by a population which claims, in its majority,
that it is Christian. Seems they forgot to read what Jesus Christ is
reported, in the Bibles Gospels, to have said about Love for one
another. Particular reference is made to Matthew 25: 31- 46 (choose
your translation). Clearly, even a casual read of the teaching of Jesus
Christ reveals that He taught that People, yes even poor People, were to
be treated with respect.
During November, 2010 as part of a reflection on Leadership, I
offered, for discussion, the following few paragraphs which posits that
workers were being robbed of ownership of their jobs by a callous set of
players who worship the god money as being paramount in any matter.
Unfortunately, this false god still holds sway.
Job Ownership
During early 2009, a large resort operation claimed that it had to
reduce its cost of labour by some 10% as a result of falloff in
business and reasonable projections for a continuation of this lower
level for some months. Their solution, following consultation with
the government and with the Hotel Union was to dismiss 10% of
the staff. The government accepted this and the union accepted
this. The problem was, apparently, a need to reduce costs by 10%
and the solution was to take jobs away from one thousand people.
No regard to the fact, in the view of some social thinkers, that the
worker in fact owned the job and was in a cooperative investment

with the companys financial investors. The company and the


government do not believe that the worker owns the job. The union
probably does not believe that the worker owns the job. Worst of
all, the worker himself does not believe that he owns the job. In all
their minds someone was doing the worker a favour when the

employment started so the favour has just come to an end. No


regard to the loss of a major linchpin in a personal sense of worth.
No regard to the long term negative effect on the wider
community.
"During short term business falloffs the company and union always
worked out an arrangement for what was called short weeks. All
of a sudden the concept is thrown away. The government
supported this loss of jobs for the resort because less money was
going to be coming in but it did not apply the concept to its twenty
members of cabinet even though it accepted that the government
was going to be receiving less money to the Treasury because of
the same falloff of business.
"Least there is any doubt. I believe that the right thing for the
company, government and union to have done was to share all the
facts with the whole compliment of staff and work out a
programme of nine days work in each ten day work period for all
staff while permitting any who would have liked to take retirement
or redundancy as appropriate to do so. The government would
have offered financial support for the carrying costs; the union
would have agreed to review expensive contract matters with a
view to requesting its members to consider some appropriate
givebacks. This would have been the socially responsible thing to
do. This would have been an opportunity to demonstrate a
government and the economy serving the people and not the other
way around."

Ultimately, no one really cared. Excuses were made for why it all
had to happen. The same excuses will be made in the Baha Mar
dismissals.
The more things change, the more they remain the same. Unless, of
course, people of good will- decent people- insist on doing unto others
as they would have done to them.
Thank you for your time and interest.

Sincerely,
Philip P. Smith
philippsmith@gmail.com