October 17, 2008
Turks & Caicos Islands Government Mediates West Caicos Dispute
The Turks & Caicos Islands Government today reports the labor controversy on West Caicos between General Contractor "Ashtrom" and 63 Chinese workers is being reconciled. An agreement has been reached that "Ashtrom" will pay the workers within 24 hours in order to bring an immediate end to the dispute.
The incident occurred between the sub-contractor and its employees due to the non-payment of wages, despite the sub-contractor already being paid by "Ashtrom." After monies were not forwarded to the workers, Chinese employees demanded their pay before leaving the island.Deputy Police Commissioner Hubert Hughes confirms, "Contrary to media reports, there have been no incidents of violence and police officers are on the island. The island is not under siege and reports of a hostage situation are false."
"The Turks & Caicos Islands has modern labor laws based on International Labour Organization (ILO) standards, which protect the rights of employers and employees. We are working closely with all parties involved in this incident to ensure an immediate resolution," commented Turks & Caicos Premier Michael Misick.
Work on Molasses Reef, which the Chinese employees were building, halted shortly after the collapse of Lehman Brothers--the primary source of funding for this project. According to developers, there is considerable interest expressed in Molasses Reef and they are confident an alternate source of financing will be found shortly to enable the project's completion.