Some former CLICO workers upset with govt. payout
Some former CLICO Bahamas employees yesterday accused the government of reneging on a promise to pay full severance packages to all workers.
At least four of the former employees are upset that the payouts were capped by the government. Some had hoped to collect more than$100,000,The Nassau Guardianhas learned.
Former CLICO manager Virginia Outten toldThe Guardianyesterday that the move by the government came as a”slap in the face”.
“It is a disgrace and totally unfair for the government to do something like that because we had confidence in what they said they were going to do,”Outten said.
However, Minister of State for Finance Zhivargo Laing explained that the government was not entitled to make the payment.
In the House of Assembly on Wednesday, the government introduced legislation seeking Parliament’s approval to borrow $2,540,452.02, to cover severance payment to dismissed CLICO employees.
CLICO went into liquidation on February 24, 2009 after it was declared insolvent. More than 100 people lost their jobs as a result.
“This payment is not an entitlement the government had to pay them, but an ex gratia payment the government was paying in lieu of their severance so that in the event the liquidator is able to get that cash back, it will come back to the government,”said Laing.
“But what we have decided to do, there are about four people whose severance exceeded$100,000, we decided in fairness to policyholders and annuitants to cap that severance at the same place. But it only affected four persons.”
Laing said that those four former employees would have gotten just$100,000. Other employees, he continued, would have received what they were owed.
Outten charged that all former employees should have received what was owed.
“This is totally unfair,”she said.
Outten claimed she received less than 25 percent of what she was owed after working for the company for 10 years and 10 months.
Marge Bain, however, said she was satisfied 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, who worked with the company for 35 years.