In a letter written by former Jolly Beach staff and obtained by Observer, workers awaiting severance for more than two years have hit out at what they view as a lack of respect.
The document was pretty clear, the workers are growing more impatient day by day about their long-awaited severance. They said they became hopeful on October 3rd, over a month ago when Prime Minister Gaston Browne announced that the hotel was looking to reopen and that the staff would be receiving what was owed to them in a ‘matter of days’.
But the workers say it is now November 15, renovations have begun and even interviews with former staff are ongoing but the matter of the severance has gone quiet.
The latest information according to the staff was that the money was in an Escrow account but nothing further has been said and no staff even after having verified the amounts owed to them have been paid.
The workers pointed out that the hotel intends to open soon, and guest rates are being advertised however, there have not been any further announcements regarding payments even while positions are being filled.
“Why even make announcements and statements to give the staff false hope when it looks like there’s no intention of paying off the staff anytime soon if at all”, the staff questioned in their letter.
They said some former staff members have since died, some have taken ill and others are in dire straits waiting on what is owed to them. The workers ended their letter by saying that they are seeking answers from the authorities.
Deputy General Secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union Chester Hughes told Observer that a meeting will be held next week to update staff on their severance.