We all know meetings were held with Bermuda’s Bermudian hotel workers left hanging in the balance as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in job losses worldwide.
Bermuda Real spoke with one of those workers, who holds not one; but two jobs at Fairmont Southampton, who said at the end of the day what the union and the hotels are proposing is quote: “A pack of ignorance!”
First and foremost, workers employed by the Southampton resort were told that that the Southampton resort plans to reopen the hotel on September 1.
What do they propose? A signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) tio be signed by hotel employees that says they agree to the hotel shutting down moving forward – the minute the hotel’s house count drops to 50 percent. Whenever and if ever that happens, they want the employees to agree to no work until such time that changes.
What’s the problem? Fairmont Southampton – whenever and for however long they stay open – the hotel will close either way because they’re bound to carry out a $25 million hotel renovation project. What did the meeting put forward as an alternative – plans to reopen on September 1, with no firm information released on hotel bookings or cancellations.
Where does that leave the workers? Based on the questions asked – what happens to the workers and their families in the interim.
This worker told Bermuda Real that the move was turned down point blank!
What do they want – if there is only one or two days a week for working at Fairmont Southampton with a MOU that essentially “screws them out of redundancy pay” – then they’re not having it.
This worker told Bermuda Real it’s not going to happen. “Either make me redundant now and give me my due or go lay down with all that madness,” he said.
Asked what the Bermuda Industrial Union had to say on the issues at hand, he replied: “I asked Chris Furbert if I can eat at his house in the interim!
“You and I both know it takes more than two weeks to get approved for Financial Assistance!
“We’re not getting paid, we have a hotel earmarked for $25 million in renovations and instead of them just cutting us a redundancy cheque and letting us go on our way, they want us to agree to work maybe one or two days a week – knowing full well there is no 2020 tourism season.
“You and I both know it takes more than two weeks to transition to Financial Services and even then, once you go jump their hoops it will still be two or three months before you get anything!
“My question is what kind of alternative is that for people who don’t want financial assistance – you know the ones who want to support themselves and their families,” he said.
Asked what does he want straight up, he replied: “Cut me a cheque and it’s good bye!”
No official word yet from the powers that be who convened today’s meeting – we’ll keep you posted. But for now just know – whatever’s being proposed, this journalist was told it was turned down with an outright ‘NO!’.
What next? We’ll keep you posted! Stay tuned!