Daily Archives: October 1, 2006

Barbados Government Relaxes Work Permit Law For New Four Seasons Hotel

The Times Online says that the new Four Seasons Hotel has been exempted from work permit laws and will be able to bring in offshore labour instead of hiring Bajans… on the condition that Four Seasons trains 100 Barbadians offshore every year.

Excerpt from the article (link here)…

(Developer) Paterson said the Barbados government had relaxed its tough stance on allocating work permits. It is allowing Four Seasons to fly in its own staff on condition that 100 Barbadians are taken off the island and trained every year.

Hmmmm…. does that mean that every Barbadian working at a Four Seasons hotel anywhere in the world counts as one of “the hundred”? I hope it means that 100 trained Bajans will come on staff every year and that offshore staff will then go back to where they came from…. but like everything on this island, there will be no public accountability or even information offered by either the government or the Four Seasons Hotel chain.

Why did I have to read about this in the British press? Did I miss it in the Barbados papers?

And just why do I sometimes feel that this is not my country?

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Politics & Corruption

Union Dispute – Chairman of Online Consultancies Posts On Barbados Free Press

In a previous post Barbados Workers’ Union Spat Heats Up, Barbados Free Press published an unattributed letter to the Chairman of Online Consultancies (Barbados) Limited, regarding the ongoing dispute with the Barbados Workers’ Union.

Yesterday, Barbados Free Press received the following response apparently from Philip Pile, Chairman of Online Consultancies (Barbados) Limited. While we have not been able to speak directly with Mr. Pile, we have taken steps to verify – and do believe at this time – that Mr. Pile is the author and sender of this letter. If it turns out that some other person has gained access to Mr. Pile’s email server – we’ll let you know. Meanwhile…

Response By The Chairman Of Online Consultancies (Barbados) Limited to the author of BFP post Barbados Workers’ Union Spat Heats Up

Yet another Bajan with a huge chip on there should, you find it necessary to attack me personally, I hear nothing about the hard working Barbadians at OLC, for which the BWU is destroying something they have built over the last 9 years, I have nothing to defend why don’t you get some hard facts from the people working at OLC & not the short term ex staff of OLC and BWU proper gander.

You seem to have an idea that ex pats come to Barbados for easy money, that is almost laughable, if money was my motivation I would do whot your fellow countrymen do and work in the USA,Canada or the UK. Thankfully in the UK we treat people with respect and dignity, even to the point that laws have been enacted to protect against bad union practices and racial discrimination, all this is sadly lacking in Barbados.

Next time you decide to vent your views, try to engage your brain first, much the same as the BWU, you spout off your half truths and proper gander.

OLC has always had a policy of people first; to that end it has always had a Monthly profit sharing scheme in place, which distributes 50/55% of the gross profit back to the workers that produced it.

Interest free loans are made available to staff members for cars/household items. loans can be repaid at a rate which suites the employee ever month.

From the beginning OLC has tried to establish a competitive company offering excellent service and reasonable cost to the public of Barbados, to that end many practices are different to the old ways known in Barbados, OLC offers employment from 9:00am until 6:00pm with ½ break for lunch, this makes the company more efficient and more profitable which is returned to the workers in the profit scheme, OLC has always actively encouraged a family team approach to the work environment, when workers come in late because they have bills to pay or leave early to attend classes or other activities, they were never refused or reprimanded, only yesterday a member of staff was telling me how badly she was treated in her former job with a Barbadian owner, she stated how much she enjoyed working in the happy family environment at OLC, all this is now being destroyed by the BWU.

It has been alleged by an ex employee there were forced to work as “PORTERS”, the truth; workers are asked to volunteer to help unload any shipments that come in, for this the are given an extra $50/$100 cash in recognition of the extra help.

One ex employee stated in the media he was forced to clean toilets, The Truth; some members of staff complained at the condition bathrooms were left in by other staff members, it was resolved at a meeting that all staff members would leave the bathrooms in a clean state after use.

The above is my opinion, but as I stated before it is the people still working at OLC today that are the ones who are being affected most by this issue, go ask them.

As always I will stand by the staff at OLC, offering any assistance I can to enable them to achieves there goals in live.

Philip JF Pile – Chairman OLC
pjfp@caribsurf.com

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Offshore Investments