Riu on Paradise Island closed its doors on Tuesday and sent 400 workers packing until further notice…

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Bahamians must prepare for a long lost season in tourism – But we will get through this….Will the Hotel Union announce any relief for its people in these dark trying times?

RIU Paradise Island.

NASSAU| More hotel properties around the Bahamas lay off workers. BP now understands RIU will lay off some 400 employees from March 24th until further notice due to the developments of COVID19.

In a letter dated today, March 24th, obtained by Bahamas Press, that was sent to employees at the resort, workers were told: 

“Due to the economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic; The Bahamas and the world are faced with, the safety, and wellbeing of our staff and guests, are our top priority and as such, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend operations until further notice beginning March 24th, 2020.

“During this time we will be working to complete the B80 forms for each employee to be sent directly to NIB. Please contact NIB to determine your eligibility to collect the unemployment benefit.”

The news came following similar decisions at hotel operations at Atlantis, Bahamar, Resorts World Bimini, Sandals and Club Land’Or.

Former Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes.

While the fallout is burdensome for the government, which placed the country on a State of Emergency status that involves a 24-hour lockdown of citizens to combat the virus, we at BP wonder when the Minister of Labour, who has information on all these developments, will speak? Dion Foulkes is near to invisible as this situation worsens by the minute. Government revenue, we know, has been wiped out and the jobless market in performing and nonperforming sectors has climbed to levels never seen in the country’s history. We need a clear and quick bailout package to provide Bahamians a path to survival.

This economic situation is unsustainable.

Meanwhile, equally disturbing and amazing is how quiet all the union leaders around the country are – quiet like a reptile hiding in the tall grass.

During this time of great uncertainty, workers are being left helpless and hopeless as to which course their future will take. Rent has to be paid. The car note is growing interest. The ASUE will disappear like the Titanic swallowed by the ocean. And in the midst of all this dark jet black cloud of uncertainty, the churches and places of prayer remain closed. LORD HAVE MERCY ON US!

Will the Hotel Union announce any relief for its people in these dark trying times? Will they provide some groceries or food if not financial relief?  Who will now come to the rescue and healing of all these workers who will not see a payday perhaps for the next six months?

Can – or will – the Hotel Union free up at least 30% of our 20 years of contributions and bail out the workers who have slaved long and hard on the fields of the plantation? This we will wait to see.

Plunging arrivals out of the United Kingdom, American and Canadian markets as a ­result of COVID-19 have visited us like a plague. Like a thief in the night! We ga need plenty of prayers!

We report yinner decide!