It was sad to hear in iWitness News SVG, that about 100 Vincentians have been rendered unemployed after a company they were working for in Mustique announced its dissolution and liquidation. It appears that these workers have not been treated fairly or with respect.
SVG Green Party urges the jobless workers in Mustique to stick together – to unite and battle for what they are owed. They will be stronger and more powerful in campaigning for their rights if they work together as one.
It is shocking to hear that some of these workers may be owed money for work they have done 15 years ago. It is astonishing that people are being treated so badly in SVG. We question whether our country needs to review workers’ rights in SVG and see if these rights need to be strengthened and more vigorously enforced.
From the article in iWitness News SVG, it seems that the sudden loss of employment has left some of these jobless workers in very precarious situations, including the possible risk of homelessness.
One avenue the workers who lost their job may consider is to try to freeze the assets of the owners of JAD (Mustique) Ltd. that they hold in other countries, such as in the United Kingdom. This may be a useful bargaining tool for the jobless workers in the negotiations to get the money they are owed.
For instance, the owner of JAD (Mustique) Ltd, Mr. James Archibald, has a property in England which he bought on 22nd January 2019 for about EC$5 million dollars – without a mortgage it appears! The value of this property alone would go some way to compensating the workers for the money they are owed. There may also be other properties that can be taken into account as well.
If the owners of JAD (Mustique) Ltd feel it is alright for the jobless workers to be at risk of homelessness, then surely it is alright for the owners of JAD (Mustique) Ltd. to be subjected to the same uncertainties.
Given that SVG already has high unemployment and a very weak economy, it may be very difficult for these jobless workers to find meaningful employment in the immediate future and adequately support themselves and their households.
We need to strengthen our economy and create new industries and economic sectors in SVG in order to create the thousands of new jobs our people need.
According to the Leader of SVG Green Party, Warrant Officer Ivan Bertie O’Neal, who has a BSc Hons in Accounting, Finance and Economics from Oxford Brookes University, England, one of the most effective ways of building a profitable economy at the same time as creating hundreds of new jobs, is to start a renewable energy industry and gradually reduce and eventually end our reliance on expensive oil.
The jobless workers in Mustique must stick together and unite and to battle for what they are owed. They should also try to strengthen their hand in the negotiations and maybe freeze the assets of the owners of JAD (Mustique) Ltd.