Trouble at school work site

| 09/04/2009

(CNS): Updated. Questions are being asked about who exactly is being employed on the Frank Sound School site following a dispute between the General Contractor Tom Jones International and the sub contractor Moises Construction. Independent candidate in the district of North Side Ezzard Miller is asking why experienced Caymanian workers who have been laid off may have been replaced by ex-pats. “There are a lot of questions regarding this site and we need an audit by the Immigration and Employment Relations’ enforcement agencies,” he said. However, Tom Jones has stated that it is emplying 70% Caymanians on site.

Miller explained that at every one of his meetings since he began his campaign the question of Caymanians being refused work and now being laid off at the site keeps coming up and he says he is demanding an investigation to get to the bottom of what is going on there.

Three weeks ago almost 140 workers were laid off bysubcontractor Moises Construction a local firm which is in dispute with Tom Jones over finances and now appears to have lost the contract. Well over fifty of the qualified and experienced Caymanian workers laid off by Moses have sought work directly with Tom Jones but have reportedly been refused. However, it seems as though a number of foreign workers have been taken on and Tom  Jones has applied for another 36 construction work permits for foreign labour.  Tom Jones has confirmed that it has not replaced the subcontractor and is now dealing the workers directly.

In a statement issued on Thursday afternoon by owner Hunter Jones he said that the firm had an unsettled dispute with Moises construction. and as it was a matter of potential litigation he could not coment. He said howevr that,"TJI can proudly state that we have over 70% Caymanian employees working at the Clifton Hunter Site."  Jones also denied having any new applications in at Immigration but invited the workers to come and apply for work. "Any person seeking work is welcome to come to our offices and apply to our company," he stated.

Miller said however he understood Jones had just recently been granted a further 36 work permits for foreign workers. As a result he accused the Immigration Department of being culpable in facilitating Tom Jones’s discrimination against local workers if these permits have already been granted.

“Time and time again the complaint comes up about qualified Caymanian workers not been given a fair opportunity at this site, we have to investigate what is happening here,” said Miller. “We know that a significant number of both old and new workers have been hired and while some are Caymanians it seems many are also expatriate workers we need to know the details.”

Miller also pointed to some issues regarding changes of prerequisites in job advertisements for the site. “I have sent Caymanians to apply for jobs there and they are given all sorts of reasons why they cannot be hired. In one particular case the applicant was told he needed Canadian qualifications and Canadian experience for the position of site foreman,” Miller stated. He added that he had been doing some research into some of their advertisements and he said there were significant irregularities and changes. Miller said he had reason to believe that there is deliberate elimination of Caymanians from job opportunities for which they are qualified and he said it has to stop. This why I am calling for a Jobs Czar who will have the necessary legal authority to act for the Caymanians in these cases which are far too common,” he added.

Speaking to the media, today, on the spot where the new more than $51 million school is being constructed he said in the latest development at least fifteen of the original North Side workers had returned again this Monday morning to ask for work and they were refused entry on to the site. Miller was joined by some of those workers as well as the foreman who is now also unemployed as well as independent candidate for George Town, Walling Whittaker who said his potential constituents had complained that they too were being refused work on the site. With qualified and experienced construction workers available Whittaker said Tom Jones should not be given any more work permits until the issue of why he was not employing Caymanians was addressed.

One carpenter who stood outside the site pointed to the building and said he had been working for almost seven months as the lead carpenter and not a single question had been raised about the quality of his work but since he tried to come back to the site to work directly for Tom Jones he said he has been refused entry. He said that originally they had been told they would be taken back on at the site under new contracts but he has not received the promised call while expats he worked with from Moses Construction appear to be back on site.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Headline News

About the Author ()

Comments (20)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Instead of you focusing your attention on Tom Jones and the stupidness that Alden, immigration and PPM is allowing, you are focusing on EZZARD and WALLING who are trying to correct the situation for us Caymanians?

    If we Northsiders can’t get jobs in or own community they should shut the site down. Caymanians need to be able to prosper in their own country, but unnder the PPM the small man don’t stand a chance.

    You must be PPM because only them would fight down the small man! Ezzard is the man for Northside!!!

    Ezzard, you and Walling you keep standing up for us. Next month we going to sweep out these PPM fat cats!!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Ezzard trying to help? Why? Because it is ELECTION time. North Siders only see him every four years.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are obviously not a North Sider or have not lived in North Side for many years. If you live in North Side and don’t see Ezzard you must have an problen with seeing black trucks.

        At lest Ezzard lives in North Side and mixed with North Siders and suffers with North Siders and has never chosen to live in another district like Joey does.

        Who is really kissing up to North Siders in election time? Turtle meat anyone? Not this time Joey, the North Siders are not as ignorant as you may think.

        As a North Sider I will be voting for EZZARD MILLER this time around because he has the working people at heart and can get the job done. VOTE EZZARD ON MAY 20.

        • Anonymous says:

          I am absolutely 100% North Sider, have never voted for Ezzard Miller and never will. There is a big difference between seeing black trucks and seeing Ezzard.  Go ahead and vote for Ezzard on May 20 and enjoy the misery that follows!

  2. Anonymous says:

    man you’re a hater.  Walling and Ezzard are good men who care about Caymanians. On the other hand you only seem to spew hate. If either of them had to bully you or curse you out it seems like you deserved it, so get over it. We need politicians who will look out for us, and we certainly don’t have that now. 

    I am a female voter from GT and I’m voting for Walling, Mike and Kurt. We need a woman in the house too but the choices are quite poor, so I’m still trying to decide.

    But please take my advice. STOP HATING MAN. GET A LIFE. SAY A PRAYER 

  3. Tommy Junster says:

    Everybody know who these Caymanians are and  know that they have exploited their own Caymanians and prostituted this country for so long they feel it their birth right to do so . so when you are out their at the Million dollar races during Easter weekend look at their expensive boats and lifestyle and remember who is paying for these things eh! Where is the people that sign this big time contract also Minister seems to be very quite too busy running and election i guess. Do not worry these boys will switch to the UDP when the time straws nigh. As they always do Yo money Yo money yo shame shame shame

  4. Anonymous says:

    Who is the Caymanian, who is the owner of this construction company and throwing his fellow Caymanians out of work?

    Shut the company down until this is sorted out.

    Talk about a Bill of Rights…Every Caymanian should be outraged, the Chamber of Commerce should be all over this contractor after Labor Board and Immigration.

    Heavy fines should be levied.

  5. noname says:

    It’s nice to see two capable Independent Candiates like Ezzard and Walling teaming up. they are both saying the same thing on labor issues. It would be good for Cayman if they got in.

    • Anonymous says:

      "It’s nice to see two capable…"

      God help us all. Ask those Caymanians that had to work with Mr Miller and Mr Whittaker when the former was Member for Health and later when the latter was Director of Employment Relations. Mr Miller operated by "management by bullying and intimidation" and Mr Whittaker by "management by foul abusive language" and other methods not printable here. Surely Cayman we can turn away from these candidates who keep running simply because they are basically unemployable elsewhere other than as MLAs. There are other similar duds running this time and, Caymanians, we know who they are.

  6. Anonymous says:


  7. Anonymous says:

    This type of layoffs is happening island wide, but a lot of young Caymanians are too ashamed and embarrased to speak out and complain about it for fear of the type of critisism I’m reading on this thread tonight. And these are NOT lazy Caymanians …They are educated young adults who are being culled from the finance sector, because they are tightening their belts. They are sitting with mortgages and car payments that they have no way to service…It is not their fault…I’m sure it’s happening in other sectors too.

  8. Fed UP Caymanian says:

    Where is the country’s so called Minister of Labour on all of this??? HIDING I bet!!!!!!!!!!!! Or is he doing to this the same thing he did when 2 hotels closed down, leaving many Caymanians affected? He RAN from the problem. This government is truly dis appointing on so many levels.

    Thank the good Lord for Ezzard Miller in exposing this intolerable act

  9. Anonymous says:

    We need more Candidates like Mr.Miller who are willing to stand up for the injustices of our CAYMANIAN PEOPLE. . These Construction Companies are making their own laws and are not abiding to the law or laws of the Cayman Islands and what is being done about it ??  ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!  We are 2nd class in our own Country…

  10. Anonymous says:

    Miller why dont you go and sit down or help some person who needs help and stop driving up and down looking for dirt.    Joey will be elected in North Side.  Dont you have anything to do?  I will vote PPM. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Evidently you do not know Mr. Miller, unlike Joey he do not strut around with  his ego on his shoulder,always looking for a chance to get his mug in the papers.

      Ezzard do more in the community than you all know, a book could be written about all that he have done, but you wont hear it at the bar or under an almond tree for frivolus talk.Or like the texts that are sent out today, announcing that he, Joey has 5lbs of turtle meat for some of us and where can he deliver it, bet you feel that is doing good for the community, bribing people for votes.

      No bribes, we want honest, clean representation in north side, we are not, LAZY,IGNORANT people like Joey want the public to beleive, we would be if we voted for the PPM, (piss poor management.

  11. Anonymous says:

    So how can all of this go by the immigration department and work permit boards? As usual, they are clueless! It is so frustrating because time and time again, these boards and immigration as a whole are failing Caymanians. It’s a monkey say, monkey do attitude going on.

  12. Anonymous says:

    This is one of the reason’s you have some Caymanians having to revert to stealing and robbing because they are being refused work.

    I hope that something can be done about this it is only fair that all Caymanians are giving a fair chance at employment first.

    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanians do not have to revert to anything wrong, because they can’t find job or who do not want to work.  If i was out of a job and want to work i would do any honest job to stay afloat.  An not so long ago this subject did come up and it was answered.  So go back and search for the answer.

  13. logicman says:

    tom jones is making waves in cayman on many fronts. this is not a ‘local friendly’ company and seems to be only interested in lining its pockets. they really should be looked at from many angles but it seems that whenever i hear their name it is not in a good light.

    seems like mr jones forgets he has left canada and is operating in a small community where everybody knows everything!!! clean your act up guys and dont give other canadians a bad name on this little island.

    • Anonymous says:

      If anything untoward is going on it may not be Mr. Jones’ fault.  I believe he only owns a minority of the company. It is majority owned and contolled by Caymanians. Wherther they be true Caymanians or  MacManians – the hard questions should be asked of them.