Two extra weeks for St. James workers

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Staff, over 300 of them, at the St. James Club will remain on the job for two extra weeks after it was announced that the hotel would remain open to the public until July 15.
The all-inclusive resort was scheduled to be closed temporarily from July 1 until October 1, however general manager, Antoine Brown confirmed that, management will be shortening the closure period to between July 15 to September 30.
This is apparently due to significant progress in clearing the sargassum seaweed which has been plaguing the hotel for the past few weeks. 
According to Brown, there is a very real possibility of the closure period being shortened again if they “get more” on top of the problem. 
A group comprising 65 people has booked 24 rooms to stay at the hotel from July 5 through July 12,   however, after hearing about the pending closure due to the sargassum seaweed, the group’s spokesperson, Kerrissa Michael, indicated to the hotel’s sales representative that the group wished to be relocated to the Verandah Resort and Spa, and it was agreed that this would be done.
Michael, said that on June 19, she received a telephone call from Cherie Selfridge, the Senior Director of Sales and Charitable Contributions, indicating that the group could not be accommodated at the Verandah Resort and they would have to stay at St. James Club.
She was assured that the beaches were getting better and the condition was being corrected daily.
Michael said that her party has been in discussions with the hotel’s marketing arm in Florida, and she is hopeful that they will reach an agreement.
Workers had reached out to OBSERVER media, lamenting the pending closure due to the heavy presence of sargassum seaweedand the impact it would have on their families, the business and the tourism sector on a whole.
The Antigua Barbuda Workers Union is said to be dealing with the matter.
Although the property is due for closure on July 15, Browne, said if the situation improves, there may not be a need for closure as they continue to monitor the situation.
This is the second time in recent years, that the hotel will be closing due to the sargassum weed.
Coastlines around the country have been overwhelmed with the reddish-brown floating seaweed that washes ashore, covering once pristine beaches and driving away beach users and sea activities with its stench and mass.

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