Contractor helped defuse ordeal

For about two and a half hours in the pouring rain on Tuesday, police, firemen, ambulance crews, construction workers and others tried to talk a man off the rooftop of the Bodden Town Primary school’s new extension.

He said he was owed money by his employer.

“I did not owe Mr. (Dexter) Bodden any money. I was just advised to pay the money to defuse the situation in the interest of everyone present,” said contractor Bonny Myles.

Mr. Myles said he has a copy of Mr. Bodden’s last pay slip with his signature stating he was paid for the time he worked.

“I went up the stairs and tried talking to Mr. Bodden to no avail; he just kept saying he wanted his money and threw slurs complaining about the contractors making all the money and people like him were being treated as slave labour and he wanted his severance pay and a dollar added to the $14 for every hour he worked,” he said. “Over two months ago Mr. Bodden came on the job site at Bodden Town Primary School with a group of workmen from the other school under construction in West Bay to install decking on the second floor.

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“I never personally hired him; he came with them. They did the work, they received their pay and left over two months ago when they were finished. Mr. Bodden did not leave but stayed on to work and I did not have no problem with that because there was sufficient work for him to do at the time. He is a good worker and I am sorry I could not keep him employed and when there was no more work I told him so.”

Mr. Myles said when he first came to the site he told him the rate for what he would be doing would be $14 an hour for his part of the job, but Mr. Bodden said he was making $15 an hour on the last job but did agree to work for the $14.

“Last week Friday when I paid him I told him there is no more work. He said yes, but we have the bottom of the windows that need boxing up. So I OK’d it for him to do it, but reminded him that things were slow on the job with work. On Monday I called him and told him again it did not make any sense to come to work because there was no work.” Mr. Myles said Mr. Bodden got upset and told him he had to eat, which he understood. “But I could not have him on the work doing nothing.

“He showed up on the job site on Tuesday and the sub contractor putting on the roof called me. I was in George Town and drove to Bodden Town Primary School. I tried to explain to him that I did not owe him any money and I was not going to pay him any extra money.”

Mr. Myles said he was then advised, against his better judgment, to pay the two weeks and other money he was asking for. “They said I would be compensated for the money I gave him and that was the only reason I did that.”

Mr. Bodden was given two weeks pay and extra money to bring his pay up to $15 an hour.

After the situation Mr. Bodden and everyone else left the site, said Mr. Myles.

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