Construction worker in roof top wage protest

| 26/10/2011

(CNS): A construction worker who was described as causing a disturbance in Bodden Town Tuesday morning was demonstrating for his pay. A Royal Cayman Islands Police Service spokesperson confirmed that officers had received a report that a man was on the roof of the new extension at the construction site of the local primary school and was threatening to damage the property. Dexter Bodden’s protest lasted for around two hours but it ended peacefully, without injury or damage, when he was given his pay by his employer who had laid him off from the construction job at the school on Monday. Bodden was not arrested and after receiving his money he left for home. (Photos Dennie Warren Jr)

There were no children around during the protest as the school was closed for half term. Police said that the construction worker was angry about his pay and no one else. No one was injured and there was no need for police to become involved in the dispute as it was resolved.

During his roof top protest in the pouring rain Bodden had waved his construction tools as he demanded his wages and severance pay in connection with the job that he had been doing at the site for the last several weeks.

Bodden Town primary is one of several primary schools around the island where government is investing some $10million to renovate and extend the existing campuses to meet the growing needs of the communities.

Some local construction workers have been complaining however, that the local sub-contractors who are receiving the government tenders to do the work are cutting the wages of their workers to the wire.



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  1. Anonymous says:

    00:23 Poster – You are so right  in your opinion, this is exactly what we need more of so they can be exposed and give the Employment Department some work to do.  It happens everyday in the life of people therefore each and everyone of us have to stand up and be counted in order to get what is rightly ours.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Only in Cayman, have you heard about the Arab Springs or Occupy Wall Street (which has now spread beyond Wall Street)? this man's action is only a little ripple in a much bigger wave that is to come, if the injustices continues.  Then we can all prepare for the tidal wave which will bring sweeping changes.

  3. The Prophet says:

    Many may have diffirent views and comments about the man on the roof top, but first I am happy that he was not arrested by the police, and secondly I think there should have been  many more Caymanians joining him up there.  Think about it, what is really taking place in this island where Caymanians are set aside and their rights are ignored.  There should have been about 200 other people join him.  At least the man is a brave soldier for climbing to the top to be heard.   Many of us who grumble under our breath an do absolutely nothing, deserve nothing.  Climb up and be counted.

  4. Loopy Lou says:

    How to make yourself unemployable in one Google search . . .

  5. Anonymous says:

    And after that episiode there are now a long list of caymanian employers queing up to hire dexter.

    • Anonymous says:

      And why would Dexter need a long list of Caymanian employers queing up to hire him?  the little I know about the man he is a "Master Carpenter" and very talented musician. Given the fact that he has live overseas for atleast 30 years he does not have the typical Caymanian mentality in that he is afraid.  I could just see him calling in the international press now and him being breaking new all over the world (just a joke).  Given his talent he can do lot of things for one he could open his own business, carpenters are always in demand.  He could make furniture, write and sing songs or just take a year off, travel all over Europe work in any EU state without a permit, good song writers and singers are always in demand in Europe and if anything the man has a voice for singing and absolutely no fear of heights, so you go Dexter! you are the last in a long line of Caymanian men with B&B. 

  6. The Beaver says:

    On the one hand I applaud the actions of this man.  He did what he had to do in order to get what he was owed – anything short of this and he'd still be waiting for a cheque that would never arrive.  The only recourse in the Cayman Islands, given that there are no institutions to protect your rights, are the Courts – an expensive proposition, since the average person does not have the means to sue government and/or large companies.  On the other hand, this man should have been arrested.  The problem with the Cayman Islands is that far too many people get away with things because of the arbitrary decisions of the Legal Department.  This person put an entire police department on alert and threatened violence but yet is allowed to walk away without even a warning…  but forget to pay your parking ticket and/or pick up a lost dog that may have been neglected and you get dragged in front of the court to face jail time.  Any wonder these Islands are lawless and a huge mess?  The Beaver

  7. Anonymous says:

    This is what it has comes to. Further evidence that we have become lawless.

    Not just do people drive at whatever speed they think is fit, employers don't follow the labor law, immigration does not follow the immigration law and the list goes on and on.

    I don't blame the man – there is only so much everyone can take and it is disgusting how Caymanians treat their own people. Absolutely disgusting!

    • Anonymous says:

      What to expect when the government members don't follow anything, except air routes!

  8. Anonymous says:

    now I know what to do when I have a dispute…… grab my hammer and go around threatening police officers…..problem solved….cayman style! 

  9. Anonymous1 says:


  10. M Ployer says:

    This is a disgrace.  He should be charged with criminal tresspass.  We cannot allow this type of idiocy to get in the way of legitimate business.  Also this wasted valuable emergency service resources and cost the duty paying public a fortune.  We have all suffered because of his selfishness.

  11. Viva Che' says:

    Caymanians are being pushed to the brink and all who reside here should be concern, These situations are the warning signs for more serious things to come. Yet our double dipping always talking political morons couldn't give 2 cents about our dire situation, too busy on talk shows causing drama and on expense paid so called business trips to the far corners of the globe. Storm gathering Cayman storm gathering!

  12. Anonymous says:

    dats good man! Stand up for what you need, even if you have stand up of a rooftop in the pouring rain.

  13. Anonymous says:

    bad reflection on cayman society in general….if this is what i takes to resolve issues???….poorly handled by the police too imo…… what sort of precedent does it set????….

    only in cayman………….

    • Truth says:

      And only in Cayman would the majority back a poor worker for obvious reasons.

      • Anonymous says:

        I can't tell if that is meant to be an insult or a back handed compliment. Either way I'm proud of that fact. Life already isnt fair… why make it worse?

    • Libertarian says:

      That man sets the right precedent!  I wish Caymanians were more fired-up and united on such issues. Get rid of the party political rhetoric and let us unite on national issues. Politicians should be holding hands and showing more support to those who are on the low end. People can't make ends meet, and they want to reduce crime?  Sorry, but it is not going to happen. There needs to be a systematic change that must start with Cayman Island's government!

    • Anonymous says:

      Only in Cayman is right.  Obviously you don't watch world news.  Other places would have been rioting.  Even our neighbours – burn down burn down burn……..Govt vehicles etc

  14. Anonymous says:

    If you can preach from the roof top and people will congregate and listen to you why not why not start preaching? There is no other job more rewarding.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I'm proud of this man who stood up for his rights! We all need to stop these injustices.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Pay the man his money for the work he has done! Simple! How difficult is that!! It is disgraceful.  Well done Mr Bodden – just sad you had to go to such lengths (or heights!!) to get what was owed to you but good for standing (or climbing!!) up for yourself.  These employers and many like them should be ashamed of themselves.  Disgusting!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Go start a church! Your problems are solved!

  18. Anonymous says:

    This is just the beginning! People are fed up with watching the rich get richer attitude amongst our own Caymanians.

    There are Caymanians that are qualified to do a lot of the jobs on the island but yet our own "Caymanian business owners" would rather employ foreigners to do these jobs at low wages or to "control" them by permit. Why was Mr. Bodden laid off? And if there is not a valid reason(s) does this employer hold a permit for someone doing the same job? if so immigration needs to cancel the permit.

    Business owners have got to stop being so greedy & selling out their own just to make a few extra dollars.

    While we need foriegners to fill certain positions, we also need to employ our fellow qualified Caymanians.


  19. Anonymous says:

    Sad but all true. He's taken these matters to 'new heights'……


  20. Michel says:

    It is very sad in deed to read such things. One cannot fathom the seriousness of sickness, lack of work, not being able to help support one's family or all the above. It is imperative that we must be able to recognise such afflictions that affect many. To take time to listen to them or place them in connection with the right persons to seek help. Monetary help is not always the solution but caring, helping with some work and of course first and foremost install in those afflicted what honest faith in the Good Lord can achieve and not only pray for them but teach them how to pray for themselves. To love one another goes a long way and if you don't Love your brother how can you say you Love God. One must remember that no one is immune from such a situation and it's only God's Will and Desire that it does afflict the very fittest of any of us. We must Pray and Praise God and Thank Him at every opportunaty we have so that we may continue to be Blessed and be able to offer Hope and relief to others. God Bless.

    Michel Lemay

    • Son of Thunder says:

      You go Dexter, alot of us going have to follow in your footsteps to get what is rightfully ours!

    • Anonymous says:

      Turns out he's not nuts at all, and his protest worked! Nothing to be sad about except the fact that his Caymanian employer was screwing him out of his wages.

  21. Anonymous says:

    “I think it is outrageous what is happing to Caymanians. The problem is not with the expatriates coming here to look for work, but it is what our own Caymanians are doing to us on the jobs. They are greedy and most of them just want all the money for themselves and become millionaires over night,” he said. “They say they have no money to pay the workers so much, but I know the government spends millions on these jobs and they are saying they don’t have the money because they want it all for themselves.” — Dexter Bodden


    Reminds me of something said to me a long time ago, "Caymanians go to church on Sunday to pray, the other six days they prey on each other". Sad.

    • Anonymous says:

      I can attest to Mr. Bodden's comments about Caymanian employers.  Government needs to do some serious investigating into this.  The auditing of Government spending is important, but an immediate investigation into how Caymanians are being treated in the workplace by their own people is much more important right now.   I have some ideas that would I'm sure would help.  Firstly an investigation should be done by way of the pension contributions to verify that the employee has been treated fairly with pay and that in fact his pension has been paid. This first investigation would be proof that the Caymanian is being paid on the correct pay scale as the work permit holder with the same job title.Another important verification that should be done is that the employee is being charged out to the client on the pay scale in the capacity he is employed.  As a consumer why should I pay for a skill if the employee is not qualified at that level.  Just as the census workers gather information, so should the Government gather relevant information from Caymanian employees about their employers in the work place anonymously.  This is just a start. There are many things that can be done if the Government has the initiative to protect its own people, the economy and the country from becoming Third World.   IT"S IMPORTANT FOR GOVERNMENT TO DO THIS INVESTIGATION!

  22. CRM says:

    poor thing i guess he have things bad and i must say things have not gotten that bad in cayman.

    • Caymanian to da bone! says:

      That's not the point…if the man worked, PAY HIM what is owed to him! Let's see how you feel working and not getting paid.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Sad, my people are hurting!

    I dont know this person, and I feel no comments are even necessary here…

    But, I also can't ignore the fact that the hidden stress levels are occasionally manifest in areas such as this — plus drinking, family disputes etc. — but there are many more below the surface!

    "Jobs, finances, children, Christmas"… are these all words which can have wrenching effects once things are 'out of order' in peoples' lives.

    So Please – feel free to find someone to talk to, especially Before the issues turn into crises.  The EAP is free at 949 9559, and there are other counsellors available.

    Also, many people dont realise simple facts – such as your health insurance can be extended for months arter being terminated from your job, once it is arranged beforehand.  that alone can take a hugh strain off families.

    Most important, praise God in good times and bad, and help our family members, friends, coworkers and neighbours as we would want them to help us….

    As we should know by now, we cant erase problems with drink, cigarettes, sex, drugs and other vices.




    • Anonymous says:

      Yes your health insurance can be extended for a period of time after being terminated however it must be noted that this is at the expense of the employee and not the employer sooooo if you are not working how are you going to pay for this health insurance. You get my point without a job it is impossible to pay for this insurance so technically you will have none – the provision to extend does not provide the payment

      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks for that clarification/expansion to my original post.

        However, the insurance premium would be much less cost than would be a major hospital bill for a serious illness or accident while the person is unemployed.  So, perhaps we all need to save a few pennies for at least this obligation. Especially so if we suspect that there will be layoffs, or if we have been given notice by our employers.

        God Bless,


    • Anonymous says:

      What’s wrong with sex?