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Bahamas: Lucayan Union ‘Feasts On Economic Tragedy’

The Grand Lucayan’s managerial union has been accused of “feasting on an economic tragedy” by demanding an extra $650,000 payout after the hotel had already upped its offer by $500,000.

Michael Scott, the Government-owned property’s chairman, warned Bahamas Hotel Managerial Association (BHMA) president, Obie Ferguson, in a December 6 e-mail that the union’s position was “straining the board’s goodwill to the point of exhaustion” because it was failing to grasp the resort’s limited financial realities as a government-owned hotel.

He argued that the association was “feigning reasonableness” by suggesting it had reduced its voluntary separation (VSEP) payout demands by $1m when its opening $5.4m offer was “absurd from inception”.

The e-mail, which has been obtained by Tribune Business, exposes the gulf between the two parties over the VSEPs total worth and conditions, with Mr Scott describing Mr Ferguson’s argument for the packages to be based on similar payouts at Bahamas Power & Light (BPL) and the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) as akin to “comparing apples and oranges”.

The Grand Lucayan chairman also added that the annuity retirement fund was a liability owed by the resort’s previous owner, Hutchison Whampoa, not the Government, but pledged to “stand shoulder to shoulder” with the union should it elect to pursue the Hong Kong-based conglomerate.

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