Royalton Hotel Project faces major challenge

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It is not clear when or if the ongoing Royalton Hotel project will be completed, because foreign construction workers hired to speed up the multi-million-dollar facility are reported to be returning home in droves.
The workers, who were recruited specifically to work on the project at Five Islands, have been complaining about low pay, poor living conditions and being duped by the managers.
“We are just not making enough money. We have to pay for food, transportation and every bottle of water. At the end of it all we are broke again,” one man from the Dominican Republic told OBSERVER Media.
The men say their living conditions are also deplorable, each having to share a room and the same bed with another man.
“We have to sleep on small beds next to each other. We cannot bring a female to spend time with us privately because another man sleeps with us,” he lamented.
The recruiting process has also been singled out as another factor affecting the foreign workers.
“When the people come to recruit us, they say everything nice. Everything taken care of. We will make plenty money. We already have place to stay. We don’t have to worry, but when we come is nothing like they say,” he said.
The men are also concerned that when they return home, another batch of men would be employed only to face the same issues.
The government announced a few weeks ago that the employment
of the Dominican Republic nationals was necessary, because the majority of local construction workers are engaged in other government projects across the island.
But our newsroom understands that these nationals were employed because the locals are refusing the pay offered for their labour.
Last year the then Royal Antigua Resort, located at Deep Bay, was sold to the Canadian company, Sunwing Travel Group, for US $27 million.
This occurred after Issa Nicholas of Trinidad and Tobago bought the hotel for US $18 million in 2004, with a performance clause to spend US $12 million to upgrade it to a first-class conference centre, but it was instead left dilapidated.
Nicholas later sold the property to Sunwing for a profit.

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