Cuts: Island Glass has had to let five employees go. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
Cuts: Island Glass has had to let five employees go. *Photo by Kageaki Smith

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 24: A glazing firm has made five employees redundant, the Bermuda Sun can reveal.

The job losses were blamed on the downturn in the economy and construction and is the latest in a line of cutbacks and closures to hit island businesses.

Paul Martin, general manager of Island Glass, in Pembroke, said the cuts were “due to the economic downturn, which resulted in dramatic decreases in sales with the decline in the construction industry”.

A sad day

He added: “Needless to say, this is a sad day for all of us at Island Glass as these employees were part of our team and worked well within the team.

“Financial constraints have forced us to make this painful decision during these tough economic times.”

Mr Martin added that all the employees, most of whom worked in administrative and support roles, were all Bermudian.

He said that, prior to the cuts, the firm had a staff of 35, with nearly 90 per cent of them being Bermudian or spouses of Bermudians.

Joanne MacPhee, executive director of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce, said: “This kind of thing is just going to continue to happen until we see significant changes in Government policies to attract new businesses to Bermuda.

“Businesses are doing their best, but we require foreign investment and overseas capital – we can’t sustain the current economy on our own.”

And Ms MacPhee predicted the jobs gloom was set to continue.

She said: “Our economists have told us we haven’t bottomed out yet, which is very worrying.”

The Bermuda Sun reported last week that three stores had closed on once-booming Front Street in Hamilton in the space of just a few weeks.

Jeweller Crisson announced it was to close one its smaller shop on Front Street, with two employees retiring and not being replaced.

Earlier, Coopers said it would be shutting its harbourside shop, partly due to the loss of the Veendam, the only regular cruise ship caller to Hamilton. Art retailer Carole Holding this month also closed its Front Street store, while Washington mall stationery and card shop All Wrapped Up said it would be shutting up shop after 17 years.