A British guest at Buccament Bay Resort, where workers last weekend protested the non-payment of months of wages says the situation is “disgraceful”.
The guest, a man from Manchester, who was vacationing with his wife, expressed his feelings while lounging on the beach reading on an electronic device on Saturday.
At the gate of the resort, workers were into the second consecutive day of protest — about the third such industrial action at the resort this year.
They say that they have not been paid for the last two months.
The British man told iWitness News that the resort, which has been experiencing financing problems for some time, did not live up to its five-star claim.
“The impression was, from the brochure, that … it was a five-star resort. It may have been once, but it is obviously not a five star anymore,” the guest said.
He told iWitness News that he will rate the resort at between two and three stars — “two and a half, probably”.
He said that before deciding to holiday at the resort he did not know of the issues of staff not being paid.
“I’m quite upset about that. My wife’s quite upset about it,” said the visitor who told iWitness News that his vacation in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which he was visiting for the first time, ends on Monday, as initially planned.
The man told iWitness News he thinks it is “disgraceful” that workers have to be protesting to get paid.
“Obviously, something is happening somewhere. What’s happening with their wages? We’ve paid to come out here so we’ve paid our right to — so there is money in the coffers, as you might say, but, for whatever reason it’s not getting to the staff.”
He said that initially the strike did not affect his experience at the resort
“We thought and still believe the staff are doing a great job. The last couple of days, because of the strike, things have deteriorated. So we understand that even though it is disappointed for us because, obviously, it spoils our holiday a little.
“I just hope it is resolved quickly,” he said, adding that he has been hearing alternating rumours that the situation will be resolved and then others that it is not going to be resolved.
“Obviously, we have no idea what’s behind this but it needs to be resolved quickly so that the resort can get back because it is obviously a major employer in the area.”
The British man said he did not know of Britain-born naturalised Vincentian, Dave Ames, who is manager of Harlequin Property, owner of the resort.
Ames fled St. Vincent and the Grenadines in June as prosecutors moved in on him with theft and tax evasion charges.
His UK-based lawyers have since written to prosecutors saying that he is ill and cannot return to St. Vincent immediately for trial.
The court has granted three adjournments in the case and Ames is now scheduled to appear before a magistrate in Kingstown on Feb. 17, 2017.