Foulkes: Pointe labor ratio numbers ‘conflict with our internal results’

The Department of Labour has gotten conflicting results from The Pointe in terms of its ratio of foreign labor to Bahamian labor, Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes said yesterday.

Foulkes, who was speaking to reporters outside of Cabinet, explained that a survey at The Pointe was done two months ago and “the results conflict with our internal results”.

“The Pointe tells us, depending on when you come, you could get a different percentage in terms of the Bahamian component of the employment, but we are analyzing that,” Foulkes said.

“We don’t want to make a public statement with regards to that.”

According to the minister, there should be a 70/30 split of Bahamian to foreign labor at the Pointe during the build, but The Pointe’s executives have said in the past that for some aspects of the build specialized labor was needed, which would have negated the need for certain types of Bahamian labor.

There had been much concern about the labor ratio at the hotel property, especially from former Bahamian Contractors Association (BCA) President Leonard Sands last year who said he was not convinced that China Construction America (CCA), the developer of The Pointe, was living up to the 70/30 Bahamian to foreign worker ratio.

He said then that it was always BCA’s view that the agreed worker complement should carry on throughout the life of the construction.

Foulkes said while the Free National Movement government would have wanted to have an 80/20 ratio of Bahamian to foreign labor at The Pointe, it is honoring the agreement made under the previous administration.

“We have agreed to honor any agreements signed by previous governments,” he said.

However, he contended that there is concern about the current ratio at The Pointe.

Foulkes also added, as he spoke on the most recent labor results, that the hotel property will provide between 600 and 700 permanent jobs when it is fully opened.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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