Buccament Bay Resort security agent, workers in heated talks
December 20, 2016
Buccament Bay Resort security agent, workers in heated talks

A number of workers who are owed money by the Buccament Bay Resort are going through tough, emotional times and this has affected not only their pockets, but their family life as well.

Some of the issues were expressed during a meeting between Sean Ghent, a security agent attached to David Ames, chair of Harlequin Properties Ltd (the developers of the Buccament Bay Resort) and workers.{{more}}

During the meeting, which was held at the resort last Friday, Ghent told a number of workers that the resort’s general manager Gailene Collins-Crick was trying her best to raise the money owed to them, but had to cancel meeting with them on Friday because of looting that had taken place at the resort the Wednesday before.

“She cancelled the meeting… because two security officers went around opening villas so that people could loot the villas,” explained Ghent, who asked persons if they knew about the looting.

According to Ghent, when Collins-Crick found out about the looting, she called Deputy Commissioner of Police Collin John and according to Ghent, John sent officers attached to the Special Services Unit (SSU) to offer support to Rapid Response Unit (RRU) officers.

But in response to Ghent’s revelation that Collins-Crick had called Deputy Commissioner John, one woman at the meeting enquired why the general manager did not call the police to track down Ames, who is wanted here on charges of theft and tax evasion.

“Way mek Gailene nah been call the Commissioner to go for Ames for people money,” said the angry woman, who opined that Crick-Collins was not dealing with the issue and has not managed to find the right words to say to the staff.

In response to the woman, Ghent said that the general manager was trying her best to resolve the issues and had already paid some persons, but another woman asked, “Why do you have to come here and tell us why Miss Crick is not here giving us information?”

The woman said that since she has not been paid, she has received an eviction letter from her landlord so she went to the general manager and after letting her know of her plight, she was given some money. Ghent responded to this by telling the woman that she should be in the back because she had been paid.

“…We shouldn’t be waiting; we work already; we shouldn’t be waiting, Mr Ghent. If wasn’t for my husband, I would be out on the street and Gailene is sitting up there and watching as if we are nothing; this is unfair…six solid years every morning I wake up at four o’ clock to come here and this is the treatment I’m getting? I love what I do; that is why I come here,” said the angry woman almost in tears.

Another employee commented that the general manager needed to address the workers directly and not through Ghent.

During the exchange with the workers, Ghent revealed that Collins-Crick was trying to sell the Resort’s cold storage items to get money to start paying persons, but one worker rebutted, stating that the general manager was “picking out who to pay and that is wrong,” as everyone had worked and should be paid.

The discussion between Ghent and the workers got heated at one point, with the security man accusing a worker of lying and the worker responding angrily.

“…you don’t know what anybody feels because you are in a different position. Your house is not up for sale, your children are not suffering, so don’t tell me I’m pretending. There is no food in my house; I have a 20-year-old son and I have to look at him every day and say ‘mommy didn’t get pay’; you tell me what I am pretending about, you tell me what show I have been putting on, Ghent,” the irate woman shouted, with sadness in her voice.

The Buccament Bay Resort was shut down last Wednesday, December 14 after the St Vincent Electricity Services Ltd (VINLEC) cut the resort’s electricity supply because of non-payment, and on Saturday, December 17, the East Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) appointed an interim receiver to protect the assets of Harlequin Properties Ltd (HPL), the developers of the resort.

Justice Brian Cottle heard and approved an application made by Brian Glasgow, a partner of KPMG Eastern Caribbean, to be appointed interim receiver.

Glasgow, who two months ago was appointed proposal trustee of HPL, told SEARCHLIGHT in an interview on Saturday that the application to the court was made on Friday, following recent developments at the resort.

The closure of the resort came on the heels of two weeks of industrial action by staff who had been off the job since December 2 to press demands for payment of salaries and wages for October and November.

When the electricity supply was cut last Wednesday, not only were the 37 guests of the resort forced to find alternative accommodation, but, according to Glasgow, some looting took place at the property.

“There was a small amount of looting; it did not get out of control, but it could have,” he said.

Glasgow explained that Friday’s application to the High Court was made so that he could act to secure the assets of the company.