Sixty Workers to be axed at FirstCaribbean Bahamas during Holy Week

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FirstCaribbean Bank offices on Shirley Street.

Nassau, Bahamas

— Just following Ingraham announcements in Canada; that the recession in the Bahamas was over and recovery was underway, another major International Bank in the Bahamas is confirming mass layoff.

Sources in FirstCaribbean Bank Bahamas have confirmed to BP, “The downsizing exercise is as a result of a major regional axing, which is being done to sure up losses over the years. It is really a sad occasion to throw workers under the bus at any company but if we are to survive, there is nothing we can do.”

The cuts come at a time of great GLOBAL CRISIS of climatic proportions which have not been seen since the Great Depression. It also comes at a time when the FNM government appears lost and paralyzed on getting the Bahamas’ economic engine back to post 2007 levels.

Dion Foulkes

“With high crime, an exploding national debt, massive unemployment and colossal business failures across the Bahamas it is no question the FNM government have failed the Bahamian people and are not focus on protecting Bahamian workers,” a source in the Bank said.

Bankers at the operation here in Nassau tell us they are concerned by the decision knowing the Bahamas contributes more to the bottom line of the Bank than any of its regional counterparts. “Why are they deciding to cut off the nose to save the face is beyond us,” the bank source said.

BP can confirm MUMS THE WORD FROM THE FAILED MINISTER OF LABOUR, Dion Foulkes, who has overseen the axing of thousands of Bahamians in the past four years. The Foreign National Movement has no DAMN SHAME!

The ‘bloodbath’ at FirstCaribbean is proposed to be completed this week, before the holiest day on the Christian calendar.

  • Firstcaribbean Bank today is still giving their contractual workers full time positions after firing all those full time employees (for no reason). The bank is also trying to stay open by overloading the staff with a lot of work and this is why the customers cannot get their loans/money. It is a disaster. The bank is disgusting, they are also not decreasing the prime rate on customers loans as instructed by The Central Bank becasue the bank will lose a lot of money. So if they are not adhering to the Central Bank and the customers. What do you think about their emloyees? They again joined with CIBC in order to pull through hard economic times after most of the attorneys screwed them by not registering most of their customer documnets. Now a lot of persons are not sure if they really own these properties which were being paid for (for years)!. All I really want to say customers/employees (It is either you or them) and if they have anything to do with it, it is going to be you left out in the cold! Think about it!

  • wow

    Thats what you get for not supporting each other. it becomes a vacuum

  • FUNKY NASSAU need a reality check, I guess he’s like the ostrich with his head stuck in the sand. If you are telling me that the world is now heading out of a recession. Why are you laying off people.
    By the way those 60 Jobs will be going to people in Barbados.

    • media

      You know John I listened to their report from FirstCaribbean when stated only 20 will go home. This morning the Dutty Toilet Paper wrote only 19 will go home. I wonder if they mean 19 more to go after firing one today.

      But we gat the facts! Could anyone tell us why Sharon Brown is no longer there?

      BP

    • @JohnJoseph – the reality is that in order to get out of a recession you need to correct the poor decisions made to get you into a recession in the first place. Here are some undisputable facts – see I like to deal with that and not all the name calling and things that don’t really matter.

      First of all we are all now part of a “Global Economy” thanks to this thing called the Internet.

      As a result of that the pendulum has shifted and no longer can you compete carrying excessive overheads. I am far from having my head in the sand bey. Have you heard about “going lean” or is your head in the sand about that? The only companies that survive in this ecomomic climate are the ones that are smart enough to make swift changes and not sit around for an implosion of their bottom lines to happen. That is the true reality. It is happening in big business and governments globally.

      So to wrap this up just because they say we are coming out of a recession does not mean that hey we should go back to making poor management decisions; we have to now work like rest of the world is working not be on an island of our own(ha, imagine that)! Have you not heard about Survival of the Fittest? That happens in the business world too and if you are not at the top of your game and a company can pay someone half of what you get in your fat azz paycheck and get the same and in many cases more bang for their buck outsourcing, they MUST do it. I know this is a very hard pill for many to swallow but try this – you become the business owner and tell me how you compete with your business rival who is now selling a bag of sugar for $2 less for and you still selling yours at $5. You tell me how long your doors will stay open? What must you do to compete?

      Yinna think Bahamians are immune from downsizing and outsourcing eh? Keep thinking that way and watch your bubble keep gettin’ burst das my two cents.

      • @ Funky Nassau

        listen funky, you dont have to educate any body about the global recession, because there are many who Know more about this than You. And by the way Canada did not go through a recession is that where these banks call home. But do you see Scotia Bank laying off staff. Go visit Scotia and see who is depositing their moneys there and having those moneys collected elsewhere via ATM or other means. Go into the other banks and see the empty lines. Empty lines means no money coming in. No money coming in means no Jobs. No jobs means no loans. And all this means that your people are suffering because the powers that be believes in allowing foreigners to work while bahamians stay at home tryin to figure out who to rob or who to sell the cat too.

        • @Smitty Boy
          I know I don’t have to educate any body – but I was responding to John-John who accused me of having my head in the sand. If some one got some education from it great – if not, just keep it moving.

          But since you want to throw darts – something we Bahamians famous for – then check this out…

          I think you should read what I said again and then look at what you just said!

          I don’t know about Scotia Bank or Canada but this I do know. 10 years ago – or better yet even 5 years ago making transactions in cash was the norm. Now come cira 2011 and the main form of payment globally is PLASTIC. You don’t need no tellers to handle your transactions. Just like you said you got ATM’s and now Online Banking. So why would you need to pay Tellers to stand at the counter when no one needs to go to the counter anymore? Have you ever heard of job displacement? Hmmm I better not “educate” you on that.

          All you telling me is that Canada must be smarter than the Bahamas cause they don’t need to fire anyone and yet at the same time they still making money.

          Remember when the Bahamas use to be such a strong off-shore banking haven? How did we loose our way with that?

          Since you taking so long to answer… let me help you with that! GREED and CORRUPTION! The same vices that is keeping the country down today.

          Get rid of all the so called “experts” who aren’t experts in chit. Stop being a “monkey-see-monkey-do” society and use all the education we supposedly for the betterment of our country. Everyone is so quick to open their big-mouths and when they do it is nothing but regurgitated, hypocritical non-sense.

          Someone better educate ya cause at this rate all a yinna ga be damned right to hell….

          • @funky
            you are such an *******, do you have any love for you own. Can you get a loan online and is the atm a new process just introduced. your probably one of those people who benefit from our suffering.

          • @Smitty
            If I am such an ******* then what are you? Let’s start with that first. You’re asking a question that I already asked – where is the love and respect for fellow Bahamians? You exemplify it totally but coming off calling me names just cause you don’t like my opinion. You don’t have to like it – just show some respect. See that is what Bahamians used to have. Now you asking me if I have love for my own – typical hypocrite!

            And oh, by the way yes, you can get loans online. Secondly even if you have to go to the bank to get loans – let’s be real here are you dismissing the fact that Bahamians have one of the worst track records for finance? Deal with the real things that matter and stop placing blame and pointing fingers.

            The fact of the matter is that most banks are not giving loans. Do your homework on this too. Then when you couple that with saying that there is no money in the Bahamas – do tell who will lend money when all the indicators clearly show that you are most likely not going to get it back! You tell me Smitty boy — now who’s the *******?????

            Stop flapping your gums unless you can be a part of the solution and not be a part of the problem.

  • AJF

    This is truly unfortunate. I often wonder where the Bahamas is going to be in 5 years at this rate.

    @ Smitty, I agree with you. Things are so bad in Freeport right now. But can we honestly blame the foreigners for the young Bahamian men that are walking the streets? We have to look within and blame ourselves. Alot of our young men have lost a sense of direction & even lack ambition. Alot of these foreigners in Freeport are trained skillied craftsman, (such as welders working at the shipyard, BORCO etc). I was shocked by a recent report that stated that less than 20% of graduates of COB were male. How can this be? Where are we headed as a people when it seems like we are losing a whole generation of young men?? This is not a political issue,… but one which every adult, every parent, every church group, every christian council member, everyone must take some blame and look at how do we correct the mistakes that we have made as adults to lose this generation…

    • @AJF
      Trust me AJF they would have you believe that most of these filipinos and europeans are skilled workers but they are mostly labourers like cleaners, scaffold movers who conduct many menial task. They use these people because they don’t have to pay them hardly anything. And many of our young men are people who have been laid off from other jobs. Not because you see them bumbing around means that they are lazy and don’t want to work they simply cant find anything to do. Its just that they now have to compete with the foreigners who works for less. And what makes its so bad with the foreigners that i first mentioned, these suckers don’t even need work permits. The government requires no work permit from these people who are livin high on the hog by their standards here in the Bahamas. Trust me this thing about Bahamians aint qualify is a bunch of bul. Our government simply needs to put Bahamians first. And when these people can’t find work there is only one other way they could take care of their responsibilities and thats to victimize me and you. There is a series of negative spin off from these things which leaves the Bahamians looking like a bunch of good fornothing people

      You need to put the blame squarely on the shoulders on our governments. Do You know of any other country which operates in this mannor. Everything in this country that is wrong is due to poor governance.

      • you know when we talk about only 20% of our Graduates from COB are males thats not a surprise. COB is a place you have to pay to attent. These people couldn’t get their parents to pay for pvt school you think they would pay for COB. But look at it this way 80% of the people joining the police force are men and it could be that with other agencies. Many people in their late sixties and early seventies left school at fourteen and these were men who headed the police, customs and immigration departments. So not because they are not in college means that they are not ambitious. Young men have high sex drive and to get a girlfriend you need money, so rather than goin to college they look for work so they could advance their urges. young women don’t have these same concerns, they dont need money to get a boyfriend. Am just keepin it real here. speak to your young people they’ll let u know whats up.

      • @Funky Nassau

        “let’s be real here are you dismissing the fact that Bahamians have one of the worst track records for finance’.Get real my friend as you must present empirical evidence to enforce your statement.I totally disagre with your pronunciation and ask you to withdraw since I know you have no evidence to support such a claim.From what I read in the reports on URBAN RENEWAL efforts were made to capture young men through,MUSIC and exposure to other trades but alas a stupid political decision was made to gut the programme.Our political Leaders continue to spread the lie that the economy is improving but these layoffs prove otherwise.And by the way am trying to determine how the present Govt will campaign for the next Gen Elects as they show no initiatives in getting us out of the current situation.This FNM Govt must suck their chops as the PRESS for the most part in OUR COUNTRY gives them slides when they should be whipped verbally.Now Funky nassau,present your case or withdraw that demeaning remark.

        • @Russell,

          hmmm, first of all I don’t need to present a case cause I am not in court! Empirical evidence, that one is easy and I will let you test the theory yourself! Talk amongst your peers and see what you come up with. Or better yet have BP do a poll (one vote per user) and see how many Bahamians right now will loan another Bahamian in need say…$1000 to pay some bills or start a business. You tell me what you come up with.

          I make my statements based on my experiences and my observations – so for me that is empirical enough!

          You say, “…Our political Leaders continue to spread the lie that the economy is improving but these layoffs prove otherwise”. It seems that you can only see things from one-side and until you start to be fair and look at the whole picture the attitudes presented will always keep the country divided.

          Here is what S&P says about the Bahamas economic status: “…Following three years of economic contraction, including a projected decline in GDP in 2010, The Bahamas’ growth prospects are projected to remain “modest” beginning in 2011, S&P said in its report.”

          S&P did not reduce the Bahamas world credit rating. If they felt the country was not coming out of a recession then they would not have said “modest” growth either. It would have read more like a steady decline or stagnant growth… Wouldn’t you agree (probably not)?

          The point is layoffs should be expected because most companies are carrying too heavy of an overhead to support the reduced revenues coming in. Their budgets are overstated and as a result they now forced to realign their expenditures or close the doors.

          This is not happening because the Bahamas Government is not doing their jobs. You should already know that the Bahamas is highly dependent on Tourism. So here is what S&P says about this:
          “In the 25-page report, which was released Wednesday, the agency said it does not expect The Bahamas’ tourism industry to improve sharply until the United States’ (U.S.) economy has recovered.”

          You can deny or argue about this all you want but fact is your Government can’t force people to come to the Bahamas and spend money. So now locally they have to find ways to fill the void. Or seek funding elsewhere. Which is what I think the Government is doing and why everyone is complaining. So basically, the Government is damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

          What sense it make to have URBAN RENEWAL teaching trades if your primary source of income is not producing enough to support your populace? That is the core (tourism dollars) and at the end of the day what you will end up with is a bunch of qualified skilled workers with no jobs to go to.

          I think all Bahamians need to have a course in economics so they can stop blaming their Government. I am not FNM, PLP, BDP, NDP or whatever – I am a Bahamian first. Before FNM there was PLP and the same basis for us to gripe was there. How quickly we forget. It is easy to do so when you don’t look at the matter at hand. If you look closely you will see both PM’s are fighting the same battles. Only difference is the person fighting and their approach. Which is where the public gets to be overly opinionated on which one is right or wrong. That is fine but how can you make such statements not looking at the complete picture? The picture does not stop at your front door. It is bigger than New Providence, Free Port, or Abaco….

          So, the focus has to be on getting money circulating into the country. Mind you the Government don’t have extra funds to start building big manufacturing factories like they have in China; that route is not realistic. So if you don’t have the money or the resources already how do you start? Where my friend do you propose we get it? And when and if we do get it how do you propose we spend it?

          Here is the cluster-buck (excuse my expression); Economics 101 teaches that you can stimulate the economy by supporting and creating small businesses. BUT, you have this thing I call the “local credit’. I say that is where we hit a wall! How do you sift out the worthy from the unworthy? It ain’t no secret that in the Bahamas it is who you know more so that what you know. As a result those funds get allocated to the wrong individuals every time and we continue this cycle. So, let us figure out how we change the mentality and attitudes of the Bahamian public (a very difficult feat) through reeducation and reconditioning (experiences through hard times). Then maybe we stand a chance. It won’t be easy but if we can get people to shut up long enough and really listen and understand what is going on – then we my be able to turn this ship around.
          Bey what u say?

  • @ Rad Born of Woman

    This goes beyond Foulkes. It identifies a national deficiency in “thinking” at the highest level of our government. We employ politicians to “think” and to enact laws and policies, so when that is not evident there is no need for those personalities and others should hired (elected) to replace them. They didn’t have to reinvent the wheel just simply apply the SAME tax laws of the countries where the profits are repatriated to bring about an income from the dealings of these banks. Imagine how far in the bushes one must be to simply accept being the one on whose back such huge profits are derived, without as much as a mutter of a sound. This is a plantation mentality and our elected “leaders” act as though they are foremen of “master” – plain and simple. The “jokers” did not cause a decrease in the interest rate so as to reduce the burden on the shopulders of their own citizens during the worst recession in 80 years, yet they will soon show up at your door with a glossy booklet and a smile and ask you to re-elect them (and some of us are silly enough to do it no questions asked). So tell me, whose interest did the government of the Bahamas protect by not reducing interest rates (don’t give me that separation of powers “crap” and their inability to force the Central Bank in this matter)? Was this to the benefit of thousands of mortgage and other loan clients who struggled (and are still struggling) to pay mortgages and loan payments on substantially reduced incomes due to reduction in business revenue, jobs loss, salaries freeze and inflation? You tell me.

  • well 60 people gonna start turning to a life of crime and look for thefts and robbery to go up by 60

  • Wow

    This is a shame. I feel for those workers who will be sent home and pray that God will rain down blessings and hope on them, and that they’ll take their severance package and invest it wisely.

  • BP – An astute and dilient Minister of Labor would have been in talks with top executives and fight to minimize this huge cut in jobs. That’s 60 families losing solid income! Who cares? FOULKES don’t care about FOLKS!

  • We (Bahamains generally) are COMPLETELY responsible for this. How and why? We continue with this national character of being a docile and passive people.

    By not demanding a portion of the profits that these foreign owned banks have earned in this country, in the form of corporate taxes, we have excused them from participating in the process of paying for the environment created for financial services, which is comprised of our courts, industry enforcement agencies, police services, parliamentary services, etc. Some of you may think that this is a stretch of a point, but tell
    us “who” besides banks in their various forms benefits from those sessions of parliament in which laws are debated and enacted to safeguard their well being and create a better business environment for them to go about making profits while here? How does the average citizen benefit? We know the answer, he doesn’t. But he is stuck with the tax bill to pay the parliamentarians, utilities, and every other cost associated with running this country … all for the benefit of others.

    The NET BENEFIT to Bahamains is only jobs, which would be required to run their operations wherever they locate themselves, so it can be argued that there is no real benefit at all and we now know that they are not prepared to “hold the line” for us when tough times come. Other Caribbean countries tax them in appreciation of the fact that it cost their country to provide a business environment conducive to their smooth operation. Their government officials are not foolish (yes, I implied it).

    This is a good point to jump forward and identify several of the weaknesses that we are grappling with at the administrative level in our country. Our elected leaders don’t seem to understand “how the world works” and this fundamental lack is probably the cause of much suffering in our country. Obviously, these banks make the lion’s share of their profits from loans extended within this country and were not prepared to take this step any sooner than political indicators revealed that our governing party is so weak or distracted that retaliation is not possible. Citizens of the Bahamas can expect statements of empathy and soothing remarks from the government, but because pre-election polls show the FNM trailing, nothing more will come from this (off the radar conversations by Mr. Foulkes will produce no results – watch). This is a bad sign for the employees within this industry too because the industry continues to contract and reduce itself in work force size, despite all the political rhetoric to the contrary. The end result will be further shrinkage to our middle class base. The probability of under-employment looms large as these workers are unlikely to secure jobs that provide salaries equal to what they are now earning in the near future. The “damage” to our economy has to be represented in terms of how much money is lost from our economy (count the total salary package of these employees and compare that number to 60 other employees in any other area of the economy in order to appreciate the point that 60 employees fired is not the same as 60 bankers fired – in terms of monetary loss to our economy).

    Will the FNM ever get it right??????

    • Storm you blame Bahamians in general for this. But what could you do, obviously protesting aint workin votin them out aint workin because the other ones will repeat the same behaviour. So what should we do?

    • The question should be “Will Bahamians ever get it right?” All the finger pointing needs to stop first of all. Take a look in the mirror first and stop blaming everyone else and having the “woe is me…” attitude.

      Did Bahamians miss the world news? Or do they want to continue to live in a bubble and have the black crab syndrome? How many banks globally laid of massive amounts of people not weeks ago but months (and some as much as 2 years ago). So i would say those 60 individuals should appreciate the fact that they held on to their jobs for that long.

      By far the Bahamas is not the only place where banks are closing. Major banking and financial centere have been completely shut down due to the global economic downturn. I guess Bahamians just refuse to believe that it would ever have any impact on them. They have live such the privileged existence in their own little bubble that they are immune from what is happening on a global scale. WAKE UP!!!!! This is the reality and effects of what is going on globally and not a sole act of the Bahamian government.

      We are so quick to point fingers, label and criticize while being some of the biggest Hippocrates ourselves. I am so sick of this attitude and we really need to change ourselves before we attack the people we put in office and ask them to make change. You think Bahamians capable of that? That is the real question.

  • I was just speaking to my wife yesterday about how bad it is in the bahamas. I live in Freeport where i see so many young Bahamian men walking around without jobs. Then I see bus loads of filipinos and Europeans going to work. Then comes the weekends and in Port Lucaya these Filipinos and Europeans enjoying themselves because they have monies to spend while so many Bahamians can’t find food to eat. Now The bankers are being laid off. wouldn’t they still have jobs if Bahamians still had salaries to go into their banks, and loans to procure because they are employed. Its so sad to see this and am simply surprise that the violence hasn’t been directed towards these foreigners who are taking our jobs. On the weekend I believe a Filipino got lick-out and you know, I dont feel one once of sympathy for him. It appears that violence is going to be our only way out.

    • You started out so great making a valid and poignant point. Then you devolved into advocating senseless violence against an innocent person. Why? I too get frustrated to see the foreigners but people go where the work is and where our government will permit them to come. Your anger is misguided and it overtook the great point you staryed with. Ask God for forgiveness.

      • What you call it when that Bahamian man who cant find work and put the gun to my head to feed his children. You think pray ga fed him. But its not violence as long as Bahamians continue to be rob by foreigners via the government without a gun but rob nonetheless. Its not that we want violence its seems that this is the way the country is heading. And every time a Bahamian is rob attribute that violence to whats being allowed to happen to bahamians lately.

  • Why wait until now to let go these employees, if the economy is now showing signs of improvement? This is not consistent with what Min. Foulkes would like to have us believe. It just doesn’t make commonsense, either something else is going on at the bank or the Minister is trying to mislead us or he is clueless about what he’s saying. The Minister needs to address this.

  • Wow!! I thought the economy was getting better. What happened??