How is Club LandOr able to get away with murder on the Tourism Product of the Bahamas? PART I

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BP SUNDAY SPECIAL | Staff issues dating back to 2011, over three Governments, stand unresolved – while OUR PEOPLE (THE VICTIMS) are left languishing without food and some shelter – HOW DO WE PERMIT THIS VIOLENCE ON OUR PEOPLE?

Club LandOr

NASSAU| For the next few days, Bahamas Press will be discussing the product of Tourism in the Bahamas and will expose the shady secret dealings which run rampant throughout our national number one business. 

Information now in the sight of BP’s investigative team exposes the deep troubles now affecting our tourism product and unravels the shameful injustice that our people working in the industry endure. 

If COVID19 has taught us anything, it is the fact that our number one industry is in trouble and is being spanked, but corrupt, bankrupt players who have rewarded our number one asset (OUR PEOPLE) with the greatest injustice ever seen by this writer in my many years watching the country. So here it is.

We are going to talk about  the property of Club LandOr on Paradise Island, which, for some reason or the other, has shamefully dealt with its fine staff over the last few years.

For some periods, BP has turned the national attention to this property, which we know has cheated the country and its timeshare owners,  workers, and vendors out of millions, while failing to act as a transparent broker in the life of Tourism in the Bahamas. The rot, we tell you, is going to reach the heavens when we finish with this series.

Up to January 8th, 2019 when BP began speaking to these issues, Club LandOr issued letters of redundancies to over 30 employees while failing to pay them any of the money owed to them by law. 

When those workers were made redundant, they were owed some 56 weeks ( more than a year) in outstanding salaries.

In that letter delivered to those loyal employees, they were – in writing – guaranteed to receive all their outstanding salaries, redundancy payments and all their due benefits upon the completion of the sale of the property which was engaged in negotiations at the time.

In fact, the current General Manager assured staff – for more than a year now – that the finalization of such a sale was nearing completion and was awaiting final approvals from the desk of Prime Minister THE MOST HON. Hubert Minnis. For more than a year we say. 

Well, as the Covid Pandemic  swept across the world and landed in the Bahamas, the property announced on April 30th, 2020 that the remaining staff will be let go, highlighting the COVID CRISIS as the reason for them being laid off. 

Now, here are some things you should know:

1) Since 2011 Club LandOr – from records supplied to BP – has not held a valid licence to operate in the Bahamas. Since 2011.

2) According to records supplied to BP, the resort owes the National Insurance Board more than $500,000 (half a million dollars) in UNPAID STAFF CONTRIBUTIONS which were deducted from salaries.

3) The resort is also not current in all its Pension Funds Contributions, which is also in the thousands. WHERE IS THE MONEY?

4) Thousands upon thousands were deducted from salaries for payments to the banks, the Credit Union and various vendors like furniture stores. Those funds allocated remained unpaid and unresolved to those institutions. AND GET THIS: SOME OF THOSE SAME STAFF MADE REDUNDANT WERE HAULED BEFORE THE COURT AND ORDERED TO PAY A SECOND TIME ALTHOUGH THE RESORT FAILED TO COMPLY WITH THOSE AGREED SETTLEMENTS! HOW DO YA DO THAT TO YA OWN PEOPLE?!

5) The resort has lost credit with scores of service providers across the country like wholesalers due to its bad credit.

6) While hundreds of resort owners around the world have paid annual resort assessments and room taxes, which in many instances were applied to support payroll – those funds to the staff still remain unpaid. Is CLUB LANDOR a ponzi scam sitting in the tourism product of the Bahamas? WHAT IS THIS?

7) Club LandOr owes the Bahamas Government again thousands upon thousands in unpaid REAL PROPERTY TAXES!

8) We are told the utility bills outstanding to the big companies (BPL and others) are a shameful and disgraceful excuse for resort property permitted to operate in the Bahamas. And while the workers sit in darkness at home, the resort, which has failed to stay current with the power bills, remains lit up like a Christmas tree. WHAT IS THIS!

9) Union dues paid by the staff at the resort for many years remain UNPAID and are also outstanding and unresolved. WHAT AN INJUSTICE TAKING PLACE ON BAHAMIANS?

You know we could stay on this all day and night but guess what? We MUST come back with part two. ‘Staff, now known as “THE VICTIMS”, have presented their cause to our national leaders since  Hubert Ingraham was Prime Minister and have gotten no resolve. But things were much better then. And right up to today they have presented their fight to the MOST HONOURABLE and still there is no resolve.

Staff has gone to the Supreme Court of the Bahamas and won! With a deadline by the judge to have “the victims” paid! But it appears that the law in the Bahamas has no teeth when it comes to Club LandOr! WHAT BLATANT CONTEMPT!

You know, this is so said and painful! Staff has lost their entire livelihoods, and their credit destroyed! Their reputation dragged and beaten by creditors, and yet, they cannot get justice by “THE SYSTEM” designed to protect them. But here comes the mystery.

You know, despite all this, CLUB LANDOR is still open like a brothel with a redlight in the lobby for anyone who has cash! Taxes are being collected – which never reach the regulators of the Bahamas. 

And, to our surprise, there appears to be some type of casino operation happening at the resort, when, IN FACT, the resort does not even have a license to operate. So how is the resort is permitted to operate a Gambling den in its operation is beyond us? Are they aware what violation this is in the law? WHAT IN THE HELL IS THIS?

And while all this happens, we ask this one final question: Who is managing this place called the Bahamas? WHO?

We report yinner decide!