Monday, April 22, 2024

Call for hotel, union talks


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HAMILTON – Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy says he is disappointed at the decision of an historic hotel, the Fairmont Hamilton Princess, to send home workers last week.
Fahy called for “open dialogue” to resolve any disputes between the hotel – the oldest in the Fairmont chain – and the Bermuda Industrial Union (BIU).
Five of the workers laid off are members of the BIU, whose president Chris Furbert said he was contacted by the hotel’s general manager Len Czarnecki last Wednesday and informed that the redundancies would go into effect on Friday.
“I was a bit perturbed, irritated to say the least,” Furbert said of the redundancies, adding “people’s lives were put in an unstable condition last week Friday because they were told that their jobs no longer exist.
“How do you do this sort of thing in 2014 knowing full well that you want some people to pick up additional responsibilities and not even have a conversation with them on what needs to happen,” he added.
 “Given these unfortunate events I am urging both the Fairmont and the BIU to dialogue and collaborate on the way forward. 
“We were very disappointed at the Fairmont’s decision and I expressed this to the general manager. I also shared my extreme disappointment with the BIU president. I am confident that with open dialogue a resolution to any disputes between the parties can be found,” the home affairs minister said.
Unionised bartenders employed by the hotel, which opened in 1885, have vowed not to pick up the slack created by the job terminations. Some workers spoke of low morale at the hotel, which has more than 400 rooms and is Bermuda’s second largest.
 “You never know who’s next and the rumours are spreading that there may be more job losses to come. The general feeling around here is that we all need to watch out,” said one worker.
The hotel redundancies come as the island grapples with a seven per cent unemployment rate while it attempts to emerge from more than four years of recession. (CMC)



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