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Press Statement By The Hon. D. Shane Gibson, MP Minister of Labour & National Insurance

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The Ministry of Labour & National Insurance wishes to express its disappointment with the recent actions taken by the Management of the Melià Hotel against the officers and members of the Bahamas Hotel Catering & Allied Workers Union.

It has come to our attention that the Management of the Hotel, and by extension the principals of Baha Mar, have taken a decision to cease the long standing arrangement of the collection of Union dues from Union members and turn the same over to the Hotel Union. Additionally, we have been advised that the security staff of the hotel has been given instructions to deny the duly elected officers of the Bahamas Hotel Catering & Allied Workers Union access to the Baha Mar properties.

On behalf of the Government of The Bahamas, I wish to remind the Management of Melià as well as the principals of Baha Mar that the Bahamas Hotel Catering & Allied Workers Union is the statutory recognized trade union for all non-managerial workers at the property and as such the hotel has a legal obligation to treat and enter into negotiations, in good faith, with the elected officials of the Union. Failure to recognize this and to work in accordance with the legislation, is a violation of the Industrial Relations Act and if convicted, the Management of Melia and Baha Mar will be subject to a fine of five thousand dollars ($5,000.00), imprisonment of up to two years or both fine and imprisonment.

In the letter that went to staff earlier this week that outlined the Hotel’s decision to cease the practice of union deductions with effect from 31 August, 2015, the Hotel makes reference to a recent Supreme Court decision. However, I wish to caution the Management of Melià and Baha Mar that the Government of The Bahamas has a duty to look out for the general welfare of all Bahamians and we are of the opinion that the action taken by the Hotel is not in the best interest of Bahamian workers.

I, therefore, call on the Management of the Hotel and Baha Mar, in the spirit of industrial goodwill, to take urgent and immediate steps to review and reverse their decision and consider whether it is in the best interest of the Hotel to create an environment of industrial unrest that will have a negative impact on the economy of The Bahamas.

I caution the principals of Baha Mar and of Melià and remind them that they are guests in our lovely Bahamaland and the Government will do whatever is necessary to protect the rights of Bahamian workers and ensure that the statute laws are enforced.

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

Government

Washington MISICK challenged, and holds onto Leadership of the PNP

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#TurksandCaicos, February 24, 2024 – Magnetic Media can report that WASHINGTON MISICK has emerged and remains LEADER of the governing Progressive National Party.It has been a contentious battle today at the PNPs National General Congress (NGC) for party leadership with interest coming from: Jas Walkin, the party’s 2021 campaign manager who this week publicly withdrew his bid; Dameko Dean, former Wheeland candidate who had published an article revealing his quest to lead the PNP and E Jay Saunders who today unsuccessfully challenged MISICK for the role.Saunders has tried for leader before and has served as the party’s deputy leader, at the pleasure and selection of Washington Misick since June 2019.The run for party leader was a risky maneuver by Saunders, son of former PNP Party leader and Chief Minister Norman Saunders.Delegates cast votes, giving E Jay Saunders 58 votes and Washington Misick 88. The elder statesman convincingly retaining delegates’ confidence.It is also reported that, based on the PNP Constitution, Saunders needed 70% support from delegates in a preliminary run off.  He was unable to secure that much backing.A constitutional motion to change the selection process of the deputy leader to a delegate vote reportedly failed.It is therefore unclear what the immediate future, politically is for Saunders whose party and government roles are hinged on Washington Misick’s prerogative to have him or someone else in these posts.However Misick is already promoting a strict focus on uniting the party following the NGC meeting held at the Shore Club.

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Crime

TCI Community College staff struck and robbed, another chased in car by attackers

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

 

#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – Attacks against several of its staff members last week have forced the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College to reassess its security.

“The college is robustly ending in immediate steps to review and reinforce our campus security protocols,” said a February 16 letter to staff seen by Magnetic Media.

The letter puts the date of the incidents as February 15th at one of its Providenciales campuses.

In the first,  a male member of staff was attacked and his car stolen after he left a meeting. When Magnetic Media queried police about the event, they released additional details of the robbery.

We were told around 9:15 pm, Thursday February 15, a 39-year-old male and his colleagues were leaving the TCI Community College Campus, Princess Drive, Providenciales, when a group of men surrounded his vehicle.

The man, noticing that one of the men had stopped at the rear of the vehicle, approached him to investigate and was struck on the head. In the immediate aftermath, the assailants escaped in the victim’s car, leaving the TCICC staff member injured at the scene.

The victim was transported to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center by police officers, and up until news production time, the car had not yet been recovered.

Following this incident, the Community College also revealed that a car chase had taken place.

A female member of staff this time, was chased down by suspected criminals as she left the campus. The employee managed to outdrive the people pursuing her and arrive safely at her destination, but she was described as shaken.

Now both, police officers and campus administration are urging residents to remain vigilant, especially when heading into their cars at night.

Safety tips that can help residents avoid attack, robbery, injury, or worse include:

  • Stay alert when heading to your vehicle; don’t be distracted by your phone; pay attention to your surroundings.
  • if you see anything or anyone suspicious, do not investigate on your own; go back and get a security guard or similar personnel to assist.
  • Have your keys ready in your hands before approaching your car, so you can enter the safety of your vehicle immediately.

The police have not yet arrested anyone for the robbery attack against the employee.

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News

Royal TCI Police share CAREER DAY Highlights

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#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – On Thursday, 8th February 2024, between 9 am – and 2 pm, the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force attended a Career Day event at the Enid Capron Primary School, Five Cays, Providenciales.

Under the theme “Be aware, choose a career”, the RTCIPF showcased the many career options available in policing.

Members of the Community Policing Unit, Safeguarding and Public Protection, Anti-Gang and Drugs Unit, Marine Branch, Traffic Enforcement, Air Support Unit and Mechanical Department were present.  Officers answered questions posed by the young, impressionable minds.

Insp Ensa Wilson lectured students on various topics, including: “Good Touch, Bad Touch”, alerting adults to inappropriate situations and the importance of calling 911.

Students were asked questions following the lecture and were given RTCIPF tokens.

Sgt. Kavin Mars, along with PC Fitzlewis McDonald and Kiyon Doughty of the Anti Gang and Drug Unit, freestyled “Don’t Huff, Don’t Puff, Don’t Do That Stuff” and warned students of the dangers –health and legal – of using drugs.

Superintendent (Community Policing and Divisions) Dwight Gardiner commended the school’s initiative and applauded the representation of officers present.

Supt. Gardiner said: “Career Days often highlight the importance of community policing and underscore law enforcement’s vital role in fostering trust, collaboration, and safety within neighbourhoods.

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