May 05, 2012
Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes yesterday said that nearly 300 former City Market employees would benefit from the government's National Insurance unemployment program.
"We started the process this morning down at the National Insurance building," said Foulkes.
He spoke with reporters outside the last meeting of Cabinet before the general election.
"We have the Department of Labour there and certifying that [the employees] are unemployed and that they are seeking alternate employment," he said. "We are hopeful that the checks will be processed quickly because we understand that they have not been paid since April 1."
Foulkes said his department also set up a desk at the Department of Social Services where the former employees can access any benefits that they may be entitled to.
Last month, about 20 former employees of the food store chain met outside the office of Bahamas Supermarkets Limited (BSL) President Mark Finlayson, seeking an update on the company's fate as well as their own.
At the time, they said that they were only interested in their severance pay.
Some of the workers said they were interviewed by officials from Super Value, which is in talks to buy City Market's assets, but were told that not everyone from City Market would be hired.
Foulkes said the Super Value deal was still ongoing as far as he knew, and noted that all of the former employees are entitled to their severance pay.
"I am advised that the deal [between City Market and Super Value] is going forward and that it will be finalized very shortly," he said.
"Mr. [Rupert] Roberts (the owner of Super Value) has advised that he will reopen the stores in the late summer months."
Foulkes said the hope is for Roberts to employ the majority of City Market's former workers.
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News date : 05/05/2012 Category : Nassau Guardian Stories