700 workers to be affected by Sandals closure

Minister of Economic Investment Asot Michael (OBSERVER media photo)

The Minister of Tourism Asot Michael has declined comment of the announcement that Sandals Grande Antigua will be closing its doors for up to five months.

OBSERVER media was also unable to reach Prime Minister Gaston Browne for comment.

The Antigua & Barbuda Workers’ Union announced at a press conference today that Sandals Grand Antigua will be closed for up to five months to do essential maintenance work.

At least 700 workers at the Dickenson Bay property will be affected when the hotel closes for the first time in 25 years. The closure will take effect from September 20.

The owner of Adventure Antigua Eli Fuller says the decision is catastrophic and he will not only have to lay off workers but may have to sell a boat.

 

General Secretary of the workers union, David Massiah laments the list of properties closing for varying reasons.

 

The announcement comes after Friday’s announcement that Verandah will also be closing, affecting 200 workers.

Deputy General Secretary Chester Hughes says this closure will be devastating.

 

In a letter to Massiah, Chief Operations Officer, Shawn DaCosta says the Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism and the Minister of Legal Affairs were formally advised in a letter that was delivered to their offices on July 13.

Tourism Minister, Asot Michael told OBSERVER media moments ago that he has not received the letter and he is not prepared to comment until he speaks to the resort.

The property assures it will honour all obligations to its staff.

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