by Rick Lowe
It must be devastating to the City Market employees that lost their job when the company went out of business. It must be even worse when one does not receive the legislated severance pay (whether or not you agree with the law).
And according to this Nassau Guardian article, Mr. Shane Gibson (PLP) Minister of Labour says legislation is being drafted to solve this problem.
Maybe I'm missing the point but legislation already exists for the payment of money at separation, but if a company goes bankrupt and does not have the funds to pay the severance, as in the case of City Markets, what good is more legislation?
There is an equal hardship on the owner(s) of a company that goes bankrupt. They've lost their investment. Surely their loss must be as tragic?
Now when it comes to City Market not paying funds in a pension plan to former employees, as indicated in this Tribune article, this is an entirely different matter.
If pension funds were used for purposes other than those agreed by the employees that the money belongs to, could amount to theft and needs to be acted upon immediately.
Mr. Gibson is also quoted as saying;
“It’s very disheartening to employees when they would have worked for such a long time and they have monies that are due to them – not asking for anything in addition – just what is due to them, and they’re having a difficulty collecting it."
This all sounds so convincing but severance is something "in addition" Mr. Gibson. It's a regime put in place by politicians seeking votes and little else, and it has now become like a government imposed benefit. More "good intentions" gone bad.
In the final, I do agree that former City Market employees should receive their pension funds and if there is some "foul play", charges should be laid in the Courts.
With regard to severance, the fact that the company went bust should be instructive enough to everyone that you cannot get blood from a stone. Legislated or not.