The people of Cayman Brac are upset and they have a right to be so.
A foreign corporation has put the Brac in a potentially terrible economic quandary.
Divi Tiara, which is owned by Divi Resorts in North Carolina, was closed Friday leaving almost 40 people out of work.
To add insult to injury, those employees didn’t see it coming; they were blind sided.
The loss of 40 jobs on the Brac is devastating. The unemployment will surely have an awful knock-on effect as the money those 40 people made is lost to the economy.
The businesses that provided goods and services to the dive resort will lose the income they had been getting from Divi.
The retailers that depended on the almost 40 employees shopping in them and spending money will suffer.
It is hoped that the folks who lost their jobs can find employment on the Brac, but it’s not a sure thing.
The Brac is a small island of between 1,200 to 1,500 people. Jobs are limited.
The way the parent company handled the closure of the resort was despicable.
It shows a lack of respect for its workers in Cayman Brac and for the people of the Cayman Islands as a whole.
Minister for Tourism Charles Clifford announced in Legislative Assembly Wednesday that he and Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts were notified about the closure Friday via a telephone message left at their offices.
That’s not only disrespect on the part of Divi management, it’s bad business practice and downright tacky.
It’s good to have foreign investment in resorts like Divi Tiara, but they must be held accountable to their employees, the island and the country.
It is clear by looking at the condition of Divi Tiara that the mother company wasn’t too interested in pumping more money into the resort.
Staff members were prepared to close the resort for a few weeks during the off-season to make repairs.
Instead they’ll spend that time looking for jobs.
Mr. Tibbetts, Mr. Clifford and an entourage including Sister Island MLAs Juliana O’Connor-Conolly and Moses Kirkconnell, Director of Employment Relations Walling Whittaker, Superintendent of Health Insurance Mervyn Conolly and representatives from the National Pensions Office and the Immigration Department are slated to meet with Divi staff this morning on Cayman Brac.
We hope they can come up with a way to ensure those employees are taken care of and devise a plan to get Divi Tiara brought back up to standard and re-opened as a gainful employer.