The General Secretary of the Seamen, Waterfront and General Workers Union, Janice Eugene, has disclosed that hospitality industry workers are working under despicable conditions at some resorts on the Island, but are hesitant to speak out for fear of losing their jobs.
“ For us the modern day slavery practices that exist especially within the tourism sector are alarming,” Eugene told the Times.
She disclosed that her union had noticed a decline in the overall safety environment in which workers are expected to perform their duties.
Eugene noted that complaints have been made to the relevant authorities including the Department of Labour which, in some cases, carried out investigations and made recommendations.
“While we realize that a lot of emphasis is placed on the areas where the guests would recreate and have fun, where the workers are expected to perform their duties is terrible. They work under horrible conditions,” Eugene declared.
She lamented that employees continue on the job because jobs are so hard to find and they are afraid that if they speak out they will be fired.
The trade union leader recalled an incident in which an employee of a particular establishment was not even the one who made a complaint about the hazardous working environment, but was targeted by the employer, labeled a thief and dismissed.
She complained of areas where workers are expected to work, but where there was evidence of rodent activity.
Eugene disclosed that photos of the conditions under which hospitality employees have been sent to the Labour Department and other agencies.