*AFP photo
*AFP photo

Following up on the previous column on the construction industry, let’s look at hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and bars.

Typically these sectors act as a safety net to construction industry’s unemployed. 

 “The only thing I would say is the statistics show that we have 226 people employed than we would have had otherwise,” Minister Richards said.

“We put the incentives in there and these people got hired,” — Royal Gazette August 23.

Minister Richards failed to highlight:

• Of these 226 new Bermudian hires, 75 were in the hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and bars. These industries were already receiving the payroll exemption from the PLP administration, he could not claim these as a direct result of the OBA initiative.

• Q2 is typically the start of tourist season so increased hiring in these industries is to be expected. We can therefore expect redundancies at the close of the season.

According to the 2012 Employment Survey:

• In the hotel industry, 23 per cent, or 566 persons were non-Bermudians (NB).

• In the restaurant, nightclubs and bars sector, 44 per cent, or 862 NB.

• Food & Beverage Manager (catering) – 33 per cent, or 6 NB.

• Maitre D/room manager — 37 per cent, or 14 NB.

• Captain/head waiter — 38 per cent, or 20 NB.

• Waiter/chef de rang — 74 per cent, or 139 NB.

• Waiter/waitress general — 54 per cent, or 319 NB.

• Executive chef/head cook — 46 per cent, or 53 NB.

• Chef de partie/cook — 73 per cent, or 458 NB.

• Sous chef/second chef — 79 per cent, or 65 NB.

• Commis de cuisine/assistant cooks — 70 per cent, or 53 NB.

• Baker — 70 per cent, or 37 NB.

• Executive housekeeper — 43 per cent, or 18 NB.

Bermudians not entitled

“It’s as simple as that, Bermudians simply haven’t applied for the jobs in these sectors,” — Sen. Fahy, Royal Gazette July 4.

“If you want to put the time and effort into work, there are jobs. We can’t have a total sense of entitlement and we can’t just be given a job.” — Sen. Fahy Royal Gazette July 5.

His comments are in direct contradiction to the 2012 Labour Force Survey — Executive Report — which, for the first time, tracked underemployment in Bermuda.

This report showed that there were 5,883 underemployed Bermudians, proving that Bermudians are not refusing to take jobs that were below their skill-set or income-related range.  

Tax breaks

In July, while unemployed and underemployment for Bermudians reached unprecedented levels, the Hotels Concession (Fairmont Hamilton) Order 2013 was passed by the OBA government and the Green family was granted a $14.2 million tax break. 

Additionally, under the Hotel Concession (Pink Beach) Order 2013, the Tuckers Town resort was given tax concessions totalling $6.5 million.

So what was negotiated on behalf of the Bermudian worker in exchange?  In both Orders, it was stipulated that there håd  to be hiring of Bermudian entertainers and training of Bermudians.

The catch?

Neither of the Orders defined how many Bermudians had to be hired or trained.  

“We continue to work towards innovative job creation solutions that get our people back to work as we work towards a common goal — jobs for all Bermudians,” — Minister Michael Fahy, Royal Gazette August 29

So where are the OBA innovative job creation solutions?

Surely it does not seem as if they are in the hotel industry.