Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes said yesterday that 30 of the 73 people who were laid off from 700 Wines and Spirits may have the opportunity to be rehired by the company.
“Commonwealth Brewery has created a minimum of 30 new positions at their company and the act, the Employment Act, says that those positions must be offered to the persons who were made redundant,” Foulkes said.
“So, we’re following up on that to ensure that that happens.
“I understand that some of the 73 have already taken some of the new positions, so that is very encouraging. So, at the end of the day, we might see a net impact of 43 persons being made redundant, or 43 persons being unemployed — but 43 is too much. One is too much.”
A handful of employees standing outside the 700 Wines and Spirits John F. Kennedy Drive location told The Nassau Guardian on Monday that the terminations came without warning.
They claimed they showed up for work as usual, however, they were called to a meeting where they received termination letters, payment in lieu of notice and met with grief counselors.
However, Ron Hepburn, CBL director of retail, said the meeting was public information.
“It was a planned meeting that was advertised in the newspapers since last week with staff,” Hepburn said.
The Ministry of Labour was informed of the firings on February 1, 2019 in accordance with the law, according to Foulkes.
“The law says that, if… any number [more than] 20 is being made redundant, that there must be a two weeks notice period to the minister of labor,” he said.
Foulkes added: “I was very pleased of the measures that Commonwealth Brewery, even though it’s bad news, that they adopted, including the counseling for those who were affected and doubling the entitlements for severance pay for all of those persons affected.”