A Letter to the Editor of Bahamas Press

5
1519

Dear Editor,

The irrefutable fact that no Government has had the will to diversify the Bahamian economy, has brought Bahamians working in the hospitality industry to a new unforgiveable exploitable level. One of Ingrahams sweep stake give aways of Bahamian land takes us to Castaway Cay Abaco this weekend formerly known as Gorda Cay which is owned and operated by Disney Cruise Lines.

Disney, one of the only few American companies who have not felt the brunt of the recession has since its existence in the Bahamas smelt like what it symbol replicates, ” A dead rat” .

Having the worlds most sophisticated radar equipment the Disney company quickly evacuated it cruiseline guest from it’s Castaway Cay beaches around 2.30 pm on friday afternoon after seeing the forecast on their multi million dollar radar equipment.

However some 17 black Bahamians who live on the mainland of Abaco were left to defend for themselves as they waited for the Disney ferry up to 6 pm on the Castaway Cay Dock. We are told that after they saw dark had fallen the seventeen contacted island management who informed them because of the weather they would not be taken home and were given complimentary toothbrushes and toothpaste. Among the 17 were hair braiders, Bahamian retailers, and a Government postal employee. Bahamian workers on that island have made numerous complaints to the labour board but to no avail. Many of them says after labour represenatives visit the island and are dinned by Disney their reports are always favourable. One of the hairbraiders was seen crying saying, ” I have a 92 year old mother at home and she is amputated, who is going to care for her?”

Sometime around 12 noon on Saturday the owner of a speed boat was kind enough to come for the 17 black stranded Bahamians on Castaway Cay and took them to the mainland.

With the worlds most sophisticated weather equipment, Disney was able to evacuate its guest from the beaches at 2.30pm. Why were the 17 black Bahamians left stranded and not taken back to the mainland at 3 or 4pm or why were they mandated to brave the seas at all to go to the island? Has the port authority been dinned by Disney too?

Signed,

Areo Watch Dog

  • Nancy Heatherway

    I think what is important is that the bahamas is the number one ranking Tourist destination in the region. Their are labour disputes in every country we just have to bring the concerns to the forefront and if there are any real infractions on the part of the Disney company, I am sure it will be dealt with promptly. This is a hallmark American company and I am sure they will not allow simple labour issues to be the downfall of their reputation.

  • Wendy

    I use to work on that island and those claims are truthful. It seems like vee govman is turn their backs on the underprivilege…..

  • WENDY

    I am a former employee of the mentioned company and use to work on Castaway Cay. My recollections are horrific. I remember one night we were in the crew mess, All the black Bahamians were ordered to wait until the whites had finished getting the crawfish in the shell and we had to eat the picked or shredded crawfish. We were allowed no real job enlargement and all of the top positions go to either Canadians, Americans,or Europeans. I eventually didn’t renew my contract. We did make several attempts to report the matter to the labour board but the minute the lady hit the cay and was given some of Disney’s oatmeal cookie she seemed to have forgotten her duties… It is just sad to see what the Bahamas has come to in order to be competative and remain the leader in the Tourism industry.

  • Nicholas

    This is a very unfortunate chain of events, and speaks to the greater issue of Bahamians taking control of our own destiny.  Whenever the topic of ‘investment in the tourism sector’ comes up, I continue to be amazed that there is no significant and meaningful investment by Bahamians in our main industry. 
     
    The Bahamas has been the leader in tourism in the Caribbean for many decades.  We have also had the strongest economy in the region for decades.  Yet innovations and investments in Caribbean tourism originate out of Jamaica.  Sandals has 13 resorts in 4 countries in the Caribbean.  Super Clubs has 13 resorts in 5 countries in the Caribbean and Latin America.  Bahamian hoteliers have boutique resorts throughout the Bahamas, most of which are catching hell!
     
    Make no mistake about it, there is plenty money in this country….PLENTY!  But the money is hoarded by a very small group of people who are unwilling to make meaningful and sustainable investments in their country which, with innovation and proper planning, has the potential of earning them mega returns while at the same time positioning The Bahamas and Bahamians as the real leaders of tourism in the region.

    • Jerome

      Nicholas you are dead on point. These unfortunate events speaks to your countrys inability as a people to pool their resources and ceate a viable industry whose profits are enjoyed by Bahamians. Your point has really gained international attention.Tortolla is often referred to as the Dubai of the caribbean because of the economic strides we have made. In order for any foreign investment to be given a go in Tortolla a citizen of our country must have a handsome share in the venture. This is true empowerment, you folks in the Bahamas need to wake up and come on board. With a population of  only 27,000 our GDP is well over $ 100,000000.00  per anum. We are serious about the development of our people….  It appears that Bahamians have been sold for a very cheap price.