BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, August 13, 2020 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Employees of the Four Seasons Resort on Nevis have expressed their pleasure in being afforded the opportunity to hear directly from the Federation’s Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, on matters relating to the status of their employment, their rights under the Protection of Employment Act, and the reopening of the hotel sector.
Prime Minister Harris was accompanied by Minister of Labour, the Honourable Wendy Phipps and Commissioner of Labour, Shernel James to the meeting at the Four Seasons Resort on Wednesday (August 12).
The officials assured the hotel employees of the Government’s commitment to restoring the Federation’s economy to pre COVID-19 levels, and stressed that this must be done in a carefully managed and phased way.
Prime Minister Harris advised the management and staff of the hotel that if all goes well, the Federation will be in a position to welcome visitors to its shores in October of this year.
Dr. Harris urged the hotel, as he has done with other hoteliers in the Federation, to use this time to put the necessary safety measures and protocols in place to protect their employees and guests.
“In all that we are attempting to do we are mindful that man must live and so your health comes first. And so we say to every employer who is going to be involved in the provision of any service or product to the tourists that you have to be equally concerned about your employees. And that is why we have said to the hotels, the restaurants and those who are providing services to use the time between now and October to get themselves up to speed, if they are not already there,” the prime minister said.
Speaking afterwards, one employee commended the honourable prime minister for availing himself to the Four Seasons staff, adding that, “It was a pleasure having the prime minister come over. There were a lot of questions that we didn’t have answers to and after the session with him we are really pleased with the responses and look forward to the future of St. Kitts and Nevis.”
MacKee France, Director of Guest Experiences, was also pleased to have the opportunity to have his concerns addressed by the honourable prime minister. He said, “Personally, I think it was a great meeting and I think the employees really enjoyed the session. They were able to speak directly to the prime minister, hear from the horse’s mouth about what the plans are for the reopening, how are we going to make sure we continue to be safe while at the same time reopen up the economy. The questions that were fielded today were excellent questions and I think they appropriately answered the questions for all of us.”
Similar sentiments were expressed by Mr. Sylvester Pemberton, who has been employed at Four Seasons Resort for 25 years. Mr. Pemberton stated, “To me, it was one of the best things for a long, long while and we welcomed and embraced him as the prime minister. I asked some questions and the answers were very positive. The research was good and I feel very comfortable with the answers I received from the prime minister, the Commissioner of Labour and the Honourable Wendy Phipps.”
InJuly of this year, Prime Minister Harris and Minister Phipps met and held similar discussions with the management and staff of the Royal St. Kitts Hotel and the St. Kitts Marriott Resort.