After two years, hundreds of former employees at one of the country’s largest resorts were still due, more than 7 million dollars in severance pay.
The Jolly Beach Resort was previously the preferred choice for budget vacationers looking to see Antigua and Barbuda’s natural beauty.
It has been shuttered since March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic caused the closure of several hospitality-related enterprises.
The Workers Union, which represents the company’s 500+ former employees, wrote to Prime Minister Gaston Browner on Monday, demanding a meeting to settle.
Deputy General Secretary Chester Hughes noted that despite a court ruling that the workers be paid some months ago, they are still waiting.
“We were hoping that the government would have stepped in and assisted the process. The Prime Minister along with the Chief of Staff said that they were several persons with interest and intent to purchase the resort.”
He added that the government claimed to be a stakeholder and that Jolly Beach was bought through a “debt exchange.”
“Nothing has materialized, we have not heard anything else from the Chief of Staff on these matters,” Hughes said
He went on to say that the Union is seeking clarification so that it can better understand how to steer the former worker into the future in terms of a settlement.
The resort is claimed to owe the government and other statutory agencies around 80 million E.C dollars.
Former workers are entitled millions in retroactive payments, vacation pay severance, unpaid wages, and retirement fund contributions that were withdrawn from paychecks and withheld from the bank, according to Chester Hughes.