Workers at Cave Shepherd are in a state of anxiety following reports that the company will be leasing out space at their outlets across the island.
It is believed by some members of the staff that if this action is taken, as many as 90 workers could be placed on the breadline.
A manager who asked not to be identified said that in another 18 months to two years the arrangement would be fully in place, a response by management to concerns that some departments were not making any money.
He pointed out that actions taken by Cave Shepherd were always a barometer of what action would be taken by other companies across the island.
The source said that several longstanding members of staff had expressed an interest in taking a package and leaving because there was not any guarantee that they would be employed by the new owners.
“My concern however,” the manager said, “was that after accepting a package and there was not another source of income the funds could be depleted in a short period of time.”
The manager further stated that even if a lease arrangement was entered into by a member of the old staff he or she would have the funds to finance the operations.
A senior member of staff on the ground floor of the Broad Street flagship store stressed that it was hardly likely this area would be leased out because it earns significant quantities of foreign exchange and brings major profits for the company.
He said this area was used to retail the expensive perfumes and clothing which attract the interest of visitors to the island.
A Press statement released by the company identified the women’s wear, the men’s wear, some toiletries and souvenirs would be leased by the parent company.
It added that the souvenirs department included those at Cave Shepherd, Broad Street, Sunset Mall at Sunset Crest, West Mall in Holetown, the Vista store at Worthing and the Crane Hotel outlet.
When contacted today a senior member of the Barbados Workers’ Union said they had been having discussions with Cave Shepherd’s management for the past two months, but the situation had not yet reached the stage where workers would be displaced. (NC)