“The only protection against INJUSTICE in man is POWER… physical, financial, and scientific.” “The pen is mightier than the sword, but the tongue is mightier than them both put together.”
This sentiment of the late Marcus Garvey was quoted by one of the workers of the Glossy Bay Marina
and Construction as the individual raised the concerns of injustice that has been taking place for a
prolonged period company. It would seem that it took the COVID 19 pandemic to
expose the lack of humanitarian culture that has engulfed and affected many of the workers.
Many of the workers are now calling for the government authorities to intervene and for a workers
union to be formed in light of a recently circulated memo on Thursday 7th January 2021 that stated
that “any member of management, staff or contractor under GBM or GBC who are currently off-island or go off-island will be required to quarantine before returning to work. The quarantine period will be ten days and shall be unpaid unless you elect to use accrued days.”
Information from the ground clearly shows that the majority of workers and even middle management personnel are not in agreement with the policy and how it was implemented.
The workers spoke to have stated that they have lost all confidence in the human resource department as it pertains to representing the workers, one individual summed up the HR
department as a puppet merely installed to assist in looking out for only the company’s interest without looking out for the humanitarian interest of the workers.
One individual stated that it is an abuse of power by the so-called big wigs of the company
because they are aware of the lack of employment opportunities in SVG. Another stated that it is the
opinion of most that the leaders of SVG are more concerned with foreign investment that provides a
level of employment than actually looking out for its people especially those in the grenadines.
The cries of January being a very hard month because of the December Christmas spending and the
implementation of the ten days unpaid mandatory quarantine was heard with a resounding effect.
Persons stated that the company is aware that workers have family members who work for the
company and live together along with other staff members who are due to return to work between
January 8th and 15th and so to implement the action a day before with immediate effect is cruelty.
One individual stated that he got into the island the same day the policy came into effect as he was
on the ferry returning to the island.
Persons believe that the company has exhibited a level of bias and inconsistency as it pertains to the
COVID-19 situation. One individual sited that guests are tested positive and workers still have to go
into rooms and attend to their needs, then these workers are not being tested nor are they asked to
One worker believes that the decision was made with fear and haste. That it was done without careful consideration and intellectual guidance, but simply reactive and without true rational.
The Canouan residents who live with siblings but work for the company are now asking if they have
to leave their homes if one of their family members journey to the mainland for any reason.
That aspect wasn’t fully discussed at the meeting to hand down the judgment, so many
questions remain unanswered yet the policy was enforced with immediate effect. Some workers stated that they had worked extensive hours during December to accomplish the goals of the company and they were given some well deserved time off to be with
their families and now for the company to turn around and penalize them financially for the time on
the mainland is a total betrayal of principles, morals, and ethics.
The workers cited that they do understand that the recent spike of COVID cases is a worry to all and
from the company’s perspective a deterrent must be put in place to restrain persons from going to
the mainland where it may seem as if the containment is difficult, however, the company should have given their workers time to get back to the workplace instead of immediately enforcing such a policy.
One worker stated that the belief is that the government will intervene in the matter, while another stated that the information received from a source on the mainland was that the labor department on the mainland was called on the matter and they are the ones who gave the green light for the policy to be implemented as no labor laws would be contravened.
The major question being asked by the majority of workers however is whether the host of management staff that is scheduled to return to work in the coming weeks will also be truly
subjected to the unpaid mandatory quarantine, and who on the ground currently has the fortitude and integrity to ensure that they subject their bosses to such.
One individual stated that what is good for the goose should be good for the gander, however, the concern is how is anyone going to know if the same deductions are made across the board.
Is the company going to reveal the payment slips of this management personnel to demonstrate
transparency or is it going to be another case of doing as we say but not as we do?
One individual stated that an inquiry was made of the big wig of the security department as it
pertains to emergency leave in case of family illness on the mainland and was informed that capable
persons should be in place in the family to handle those matters, but if a letter from a doctor is
provided to qualify the extent of the situation then something can be done. Talk about humanity in the face of a crisis.
I encourage us as a nation to join our voices and stand in solidarity with the workers of Glossy Bay
Construction and Marina continue to sacrifice their families on the mainland and in Canouan to
work tirelessly without recognition and with small financial compensation as they thrive to make
the rich even richer. The only way that evil can persist is if good people sit and do nothing.
The views expressed are not those of ANN, all articles must be submitted to [email protected]