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Bahamas casino strike vote illegal

2 February 2007

BAHAMAS – As reported by the Bahamas Journal: "Pent up frustration has reportedly pushed hundreds of employees of a Cable Beach hotel to press ahead with taking a strike vote today in a final bid to have hotel executives address their concerns once and for all, but a Department of Labour official said the vote would be illegal.

"President of the Bahamas Hotel Managerial Association (BHMA) Obie Ferguson yesterday confirmed plans to take the strike vote today.

"…However, Director of Labour Harcourt Brown said yesterday that his department will not supervise any strike vote today.

"Mr. Brown explained that Mr. Ferguson wrote to the minister of labour in accordance with the law, saying that the union planned a strike vote for March 2, and also wrote a letter to Baha Mar officials requesting time off for workers to take a strike vote on March 2.

"The director of labour said that as a result the wheels were set into motion for his department to supervise a strike vote on March 2. He said Mr. Ferguson has since written to say March 2 was a typographical error, and what he meant to say was February 2.

"…'These workers have not gotten an increase. The two weeks bonus that was promised to them – that they have been getting for the last 10 years – was discontinued as of December 14, 2006,' Mr. Ferguson charged…"

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