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$2.5m paid to ex-Cave workers


Gercine Carter

$2.5m paid to ex-Cave workers
Harrison’s Cave (FILE)

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Government has paid out close to $2.5 million in severance to former employees of Caves of Barbados.

This was revealed by Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Kerrie Symmonds on Tuesday in the House of Assembly.

The Jamaican nature adventure company Chukka was awarded the management contract for Harrison’s Cave effective December 31, 2020, and there had been some dispute among displaced staff related to their severance.

Symmonds said the Caves of Barbados employees were officially severed on October 31, 2020, with a severance bill of $2 411 409, part of an overall payment of $3 444 628 which included vacation pay.

He assured Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley that the welfare of employees of Grantley Adams International Airport would be given prime consideration in any move to transfer management of the airport to private sector hands.

The House was debating the Grantley Adams International Airport Transfer of Management and Vesting of Assets (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which will provide for licensed operators to manage and maintain the airport.

Atherley said: “We have seen before where ownership and management has changed and the welfare of existing staff not necessarily constituting a priority. There has been injury to persons who have made their cries loud in this society as to what has befallen them negatively . . . .”

He added he had been approached by severed employees of Harrison’s Cave on the issue. (GC)