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News : Bahamas Information Services Updates Last Updated: Jul 9, 2017 - 12:49:07 PM


Labour Minister Foulkes Meets with Grand Bahama Businesses and Unions
By Robyn Adderley
Jul 8, 2017 - 6:19:07 PM

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A number of meetings were held between major businesses in Grand Bahama and the Minister of Labour, Senator the Hon. Dion Foulkes, as well as the Minister of State for Grand Bahama in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator the Hon. J. Kwasi Thompson, on Friday, July 7. The meetings were held at the Harold DeGregory Complex. Shown are executives of Grand Bahama Shipyard meeting with the two Cabinet ministers and their support staff.


FREEPORT, Bahamas - During his first official visit to Grand Bahama, Minister of Labour, Senator the Hon. Dion Foulkes, met with several major businesses and trade union leaders, he disclosed during a press briefing on Friday afternoon at the Office of the Prime Minister.
           
Pleased with the outcome of the various meetings, the main purpose of his trip, said the Minister, was to hold discussions with: The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Freeport Container Port, Bahama Rock Ltd., and Grand Bahama Shipyard.  A meeting with Pineyard Steel was set for Saturday to discuss its training programme.
           
He will also meet with, if he did not on Friday, Bahamas General Workers Union, headed by Thomas Basden who represents the workers at Bahama Rock; Grand Bahama Port Authority Workers Union, headed by Mervin Wright; and Commonwealth and Hotel Services, headed by Michelle Dorsett.
           
"From a government point of view, the Prime Minister has mandated all Ministers who have responsibility for sections, departments or businesses here in Grand Bahama to focus on Grand Bahama to ensure that the Cabinet and Cabinet Ministers do whatever is necessary to ensure that Grand Bahama is revitalized and that job opportunity in Grand Bahama is maximized.
           
"That is my mandate, that is Minister (Kwasi) Thompson's mandate, that is the mandate to the Cabinet. Grand Bahama is a primary focus of the government as the Prime Minister has said repeatedly, and we are very pleased with the meetings we've had so far."
           
There are three or four meetings also scheduled for Saturday morning and according to Minister Foulkes, so far, the business community seems to be "very encouraged and very excited about the future of Grand Bahama. There are a lot of discussions going on in terms of new businesses, that I am not at liberty to announce, Minister Thompson and the Deputy Prime Minister (K. Peter Turnquest) will update the press on those developments.
           
"But, we are very optimistic about the possibility of new employment in Grand Bahama."
           
Grand Bahamians have had a difficult time, especially since the Hurricane, Minister Foulkes acknowledged, but the government is committed to make things better.
           
The Minister took the opportunity to announce that at Bahama Rock, there are about 90 employees, and the company has recently added nine increasing their workforce by 10 per cent.
           
Minister of State for Grand Bahama in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator the Hon. Kwasi Thompson added that Grand Bahama is a top priority for all members of the Cabinet and said, "I am glad and encouraged by some of the meetings we had which discussed a number of labour issues, a number of environmental issues.

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Minister of Labour, Senator the Hon. Dion Foulkes (third from left) and Minister of State for Grand Bahama in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator the Hon. J. Kwasi Thompson (second from left) on Friday afternoon met with a number of major businesses in Grand Bahama. Also shown in the photo are: Morgan Graham, Assistant Director of Labour and Sarah Rahming, Executive Officer, Ministry of Labour.

         
"What I am also encouraged by is the discussion of the potential expansion of some of these businesses which will mean added employment.”  Minister Thompson closed by saying that the government is working daily to revitalize Grand Bahama and bring more employment to the island.  "We will not rest until Grand Bahama has been fully revitalized."
 
Accompanying Minister Foulkes on the trip were: Morgan Graham, Assistant Director of Labour; Ricardo Deveaux, First Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Labour; Tasha Hamilton, Conciliation Officer, Ministry of Labour; and Sarah Rahming, Executive Officer, Ministry of Labour.

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