Island Hotel Company Limited, which operates Atlantis resort, was granted an injunction against the Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union (BHCAWU) on Thursday after union members picketed outside the property earlier that day.
The order, which was handed down by Justice Keith Thompson, bans union members who are Atlantis employees from picketing at the resort or “inducing, inciting or intimidating” other employees or guests until the inter parties hearing, which is scheduled for Friday. The injunction also bans the members from obstructing or impeding the entrance and exit to the resort.
If members fail to obey the order, they “will be liable to process of execution for the purpose of compelling you to obey the same”.
In a Certificate of Urgency, the Island Hotel Company Limited’s counsel said the injunction was necessary so that business at the resort is not disrupted.
“The Atlantis resort is presently enjoying occupancy at the rate of 80 percent and the actions of the defendant, its officers and members have seriously disrupted the business and had a negative affect thereon,” it read.
“A significant number of guests witnessed the disruption and their service was interrupted and negatively affected as the picketing by the defendant, its officers and its members was very loud and spanned a wide area.
“Unless immediately restrained by this honorable court, the plaintiff’s business will continue to be negatively affected by the actions of the defendant, its officers and members.”
BHCAWU members picketed on Thursday in frustration over lengthy industrial agreement negotiations. BHCAWU President Darrin Woods said the union would not stop until it has a signed and registered industrial agreement.
When contacted that same morning, Atlantis Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Ed Fields said the union’s rationale was unclear as negotiations have been going well.
Earlier this month, Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar urged the hotel union to let cooler heads prevail for the sake of the tourism industry.
While the union has had issues since earlier in the year, he stressed that the industry is especially vulnerable in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.
An overwhelming majority of BHCAWU members voted to strike after continued difficulties in negotiating a new industrial agreement with their employers.
The members who took part in the vote were employees of Atlantis, the Reef, the Cove, Harborside Resort, Melia Nassau Beach, the British Colonial Hilton, Lyford Cay Club, the Ocean Club and Towne Hotel.