|Bahamas Striping slams foreign companies|
Published: Jun 21, 2012
One of the country’s specialty striping companies is asking questions about the presence of foreigner stripers currently working on two of the countries big road projects.
Bahamas Striping, which started more than two years ago and has trained several Bahamians in striping, is questioning how foreigners are allowed work permits to work on jobs that Bahamians are capable of doing.
Atario Mitchell, president of Bahamas Striping, was on his lunch hour recently when he received a call from other concerned Bahamians that foreigners were marking up road traffic arrows on Marathon Road, a job that Bahamas Striping has completed many times before.
Mitchell said he would like the labor and immigration officials to check whether the foreigners are adhering to prescribed regulations and the circumstances under which these foreigners received work permits. He also wants the National Insurance Board (NIB) to check whether they are paying NIB contributions as prescribed by law.
“Many young Bahamians are out of work and underemployed and there are several Bahamian entities that can do this kind of work,” said Mitchell. “There are three or more all-Bahamian companies that stripe. Were they given a chance to do this work? We ourselves have three young Bahamians on our team who can do this. We also have the equipment. Besides us, there are others who have worked with professional striping companies. This is a very serious matter when foreigners are needlessly displacing young Bahamians who need to feed their families and pay their bills.
“We’d like to know how one of these foreigners was able to be striping the sports center and then also seen working on the JCCC project (the New Providence Road Improvement Project) within days. We’ve seen foreign stripers also working on the Chinese Airport Gateway Project, at times without any Bahamians working with them.
“To our knowledge, as the authorities have told us, temporary permits are supposed to be project-specific. You can’t just be skipping round the island working different jobs at the same time. If the permit assigns you to a project, you have to stick to that. That’s what we’ve been told,” added Mitchell. “So how come we see the same guy in different places working two jobs?”