Work to Resume at Fiesta Tomorrow


Work is scheduled to resume tomorrow (March 13) on the US$150 million Fiesta Hotel development in Point, Hanover.
Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, made the announcement to journalists on Friday (March 9), following a meeting with project stakeholders at the site, on the directive of Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller.
Construction work on the facility had been temporarily suspended since Tuesday (Feb. 27), following a clash between workers and security personnel on the site.
Mr. Kellier said that at Friday’s meeting, a number of decisions were reached, which relate to security arrangements, labour relations and the process for future employment.
Outlining the details of the agreement reached, Minister Kellier told journalists that all workers would be paid today (March 12). Sub-contractors are to report to the site to receive the payments and will notify and pay all their workers during the day. “We expect that based on assurances given that all the payments would be made on Monday,” Mr. Kellier said, noting that an officer had been appointed to look into the issue of outstanding claims.
Pointing out that security arrangements on the site “has left a lot to be desired” he informed that every worker would now be required to have a valid identification to enter the site. “I do not mean a driver’s licence or a passport. I mean an identification that was issued by the management, whether it was the contractor or the sub-contractor; they must have one to be on the site,” he clarified.
This arrangement becomes effective as of Tuesday morning, and according to Minister Kellier, the security personnel on the site has been authorized to remove anyone who did not posses a valid identification, adding that the contractors were to make the necessary arrangements for all their workers to obtain an identification card as speedily as possible.
With respect to labour relations, Mr. Kellier said that a broad-based committee has been established, which would act as a trouble-shooting committee. Its role, he said, would be to identify issues of concern on the site, and have them rectified and dealt with before they became a source of disturbance.
With respect to future employment during the construction phase, Mr. Kellier informed that a recruitment office has been established in the town of Sandy Bay, located six kilometers east of the construction site.
“We will not be engaging workers at the gate for employment. No one must turn up at the gate for employment on Tuesday morning, because we will not be employing people at the gate”, he emphasized.
He noted that the discussions held were amicable, with all the parties involved prepared to give their full co-operation toward a smooth resumption of the work, for an end of November completion of the project.
“We are hopeful that this new arrangement that we are putting in place will allow for better communication to take place between the management and the workers and contractors on the site, so that everyone can be on the same page, and that this development, with the co-operation of everyone can materialize, and we are able to reap the full benefits that are to come from this project”, he stated.
In attendance at the meeting were: Permanent Secretary in that Ministry, Alvin McIntosh and representatives for the principals of the project, contractors and sub-contractors, Jamaica Constabulary Force, the Hanover Parish Council, JAMPRO, and political representatives.

JIS Social