Letter: PM response to Sandals issue


Dear Editor,

This letter is for the attention of my favourite prime minister, the Hon. Gaston Browne, and pertains to the Sandals debacle.

I have heard many decry my PM for being abrasive, sharp and dictatorial, however, I have, for the most part, quietly respected these same qualities that others abhor. You see, I like my leaders as I like my men: strong, communicative and decisive. Or perhaps my admiration stemmed from my lack of enthusiasm for democracy as an overall. “None of us is as stupid as all of us”, comes to mind.

In respect of Sandals, it is apparent to anyone with eyes and minimum sense, that Sandals is also hurting from this closure. It is not a win/lose situation, clearly. Though I do not know Butch Stewart personally, I am prepared to presume that as a long standing business man, he is not cutting his nose to spite his face, i.e. damaging his own brand simply to make some elusive point to the PM.


Also, as far as I am aware companies are indeed permitted to temporarily lay off workers, and Mr. Stewart had indicated that the closure would be carried out in accordance with legal requirements relating to team members.


Any prudent warrior knows that it is not just about winning battles. It is also about knowing when and how to fight.

May I inquire why the PM was unwilling to give Mr. Stewart the benefit of the doubt and allow him to work fastidiously to re-open in the “agreed” shorter three-month period? What benefit is there to chastising the hotelier in such hostile a manner, even before any upgrade work has properly commenced? Is the PM’s hope that he can publicly curse Mr. Stewart to make him hurry up and finish even sooner? To best of my limited knowledge and intuition: disrespect rarely motivates a man.

Why not save the reprimanding for after we already got our employees back out to work?


While I do agree with my dear Prime Minister that investors are to respect the locals and residents of the country, I wish that this were indeed not only a two-way street but applied across the board to all investors.


If the PM is itching to (disrespectfully) shove this new-found respect down investors’ throats, may I respectfully suggest that he use the force of his energy towards the YIDA group which has sadly been nothing but disappointing, and ironically blatantly verbally disrespectful to the residents from day one?


I hope that it is not too late for some diplomacy and closed-door talks to be undertaken to rectify the situation and end this unnecessary war, in the best interest of the team members at Sandals and the nation.

It is said that good leadership is not about advancing yourself, it is about advancing your team. While the PM may, even rightly, feel offended, I urge him to take note of that adage and know that even as a leader sometimes, perhaps even often, true strength is in not exploding or reacting in a knee-jerk manner.



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  1. Good article. I’ve been following this story as a lover of Sandals resorts. I agree with you. Why would he close if it wasn’t necessary? Even though when I was in the Bahamas in March they were doing repairs to a restaurant early in the mornings. I guess, perhaps this isn’t the case here.
    Although I am not affected by it whatsoever, I would be very upset if my wedding was canceled.

  2. The author of this letter is not a fan of the PM.

    The Hon. Gaston Browne is not the author’s favourite prime minister

    Dr. Edward Newton wrote this. I bet you a million dollar. Google him to get an idea

    • The author is sincere. How do I know? This is she.

      I believe you meant Isaac* Newton? Thank you for equating my thoughts with the level of a Ph.D in the field.

      But anyway, where do I collect the million dollars? 🙂

  3. This is my favorite paragraph in the article, “If the PM is itching to (disrespectfully) shove this new-found respect down investors’ throats, may I respectfully suggest that he use the force of his energy towards the YIDA group which has sadly been nothing but disappointing, and ironically blatantly verbally disrespectful to the residents from day one?”
    Mr. Stewart is a Caribbean man and a hotelier investor within the Caribbean region. He should be entitled too better concessions even similar to what YIDA got. He also do a good job marketing his product and the islands in which are establish.
    That’s opinion.

  4. This is such a shallow article. The AWU were the first to come out and politicize this issue,not a drum was heard from anyone then.Is this supposed to scare the PM? Pleaseeeeeee.

    • I recall the union stepping in to immediately try to get the best deal for the workers, and putting options on the table. I did not see them use disrespect or politicize the manner at all.

      This letter is meant to share candid thoughts on how horribly the matter was handled and has continued to be handled since, without putting the interests of the talent at Sandals first.

      There is nothing disingenuous about this letter; I assure you. On the other hand, your comment makes me further ponder: are the PM’s actions meant to scare (or bully) Sandals?

      P.S. “Pleaseeeee” look up the hierarchy of disagreement. I encourage you to elevate your reasoning. Taken at its highest, your point (though incorrect) that AWU did it first, simply has no value.

      • You did not hear them politicize it because you heard what you wanted to.. Did you hear Mr Hughes,the first time he came to the public on air? If you can perceive things you would have heard politics ringing through every single word he uttered. The union is not the government,they do not have the responsibility of the entire nation on their shoulders,therefore they are not expected to deal with issues the same as the government will.Even if the PM’S response were meant to bully Sandals,dont you think they actions were meant to cause damage to the entire economy? Dont you find it pretty strange that a resort such as Sandals would choose the Mt of December of all months to be closed for repairs? Dont you find it strange that they were still taking bookings for the months passed Sept,which is when they announced the closure would begin?There are just times when you have to stand up against giants and stand for something or everyone will just decide to walk in and dab mess in our faces and we just wipe it off and move on.Why ? because we are poor.We will never get anyplace when everything is seen in a color,no matter how deadly it may be for the nation,it becomes right for some because its done by the government they do not support.Very sad indeed.

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