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Former CLICO employees receive severance from govt

Christmas came early for former CLICO workers yesterday as they collected their promised severance packages from the government.

The payout came more than a year after the insurance company went into liquidation. CLICO Bahamas went into liquidation on February 24, 2009 after it was declared insolvent.

The Guardianunderstands that more than 100 of the axed employees received their promised monies after showing up at the Cecil Wallace Whitfield Centre yesterday.

At the same time, State Minister for Finance Zhivargo Laing yesterday read for the first time the Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2010 in the House of Assembly. That bill is seeking Parliament’s permission to spend an additional$2,540,452.02, which would go towards paying the dismissed CLICO workers.

Yesterday former CLICO employee Marge Bain toldThe Guardianshe felt relieved and was happy with the payout.

“I am satisfied after waiting all of this time and this will play a very big role in how I spend and enjoy the holidays,”said Bain.

“It comes at a very good time before Christmas and I was so broke. I am so glad. I feel a sense of relief and I will use this money to pay some bills,”she said.

Another employee of seven years, who spoke to theThe Guardianon the condition of anonymity, was also pleased with the amount of money she received.

“This is definitely a wonderful feeling today. I got what was due to me and this finally brings to an end a very sad situation for all of us who worked at the company,”said the former sales agent.

“It’s been a long wait and sometimes I felt as if we would have never gotten to this point, but here we are today collecting what is due to us, and the timing could not get any better. It’s a wonderful feeling.”

The Nassau Guardianunderstands, however, that some of the workers felt they were shortchanged.

“I am not going to be happy until everybody gets 100 percent of their severance pay. Not some people get 100 percent, and them some people get 50 percent and others get 25 percent,”said one former employee.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance Coleen Nottage wished not to comment on the matter yesterday.

The payout to the former workers also came weeks after Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham announced in the House of Assembly that a resolution to the matter involving CLICO’s policyholders was in the works.

“I gave policyholders an undertaking that if by December the liquidator and others have not satisfactorily disposed of their matter that the government would cause them to be paid. That undertaking stills stands. December is next month,”Ingraham had said during a meet the press event held last month.

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