Causes of unemployment among Caymanians

| 06/09/2013

Being an unemployed Caymanian is what I have experienced most of my adult life in the Cayman Islands. However, because of the good people of George Town I had steady employment between November 1996 and May 2005. The reasons for my unemployment are many, some of which are certainly attributable to me. But the fact that so many Caymanians are now without employment might at least suggest that my chronic unemployment was not totally of my own doing.

I am now beyond the time when I should fight to be employed since I do and have always employed my intellect in the area of culture and the social sciences, which one day will be of use to my people if they choose to learn about themselves and their challenges; but what now of all the others unemployed?

I understand, and I pray there are others that do as well, that many times Caymanians wish for the worst for their brothers and sisters. We did not really need the expat to discriminate against us since we have always discriminated against each other, even when it is to our benefit to cooperate. This is a deeply rooted subconscious trait.

This lack of collective behavior and making rational decisions in relationship to the employment of people is rooted in the irrational nature of the economic activities we founded during early settlement. Employment was a way to reward or punish individual behavior rather than to create profits.

The expat owners of business have had a different approach to employment, always employing to increase profits rather to socially control. Therefore, many Caymanians over the last four decades sought refuge in the civil service where they were hired and promoted according to their adherence to the ruling political class.  The merchant class system of patronage and loyalty had moved from the private to the public sector by the politicians who sought to replace the declining merchant class as Cayman’s elite.

This system of political paternalism has now been uprooted by the global rescission and the UK’s control of our countries finances. Many Caymanians who would have in the past been hired by the public sector are being thrown to the capitalist owners of local businesses that are operating their business not to please Caymanians but to exploit employees for the sake of profits, not votes or a superior position in the social hierarchy of this country.  

Cayman may have a few thousand Caymanian unemployed because of their being rejected by the private sector but we need to count those in government hiding from the private sector to realize just how the capitalist institutions in his country are in conflict with our traditional values and culture. Too many of us have been made dysfunctional within rational profit oriented environments, not because of any fault of our own but because of the difference in our cultural conditioning.

The defensive myth of Caymanian thrift is known to employers who are interested not in who your mammy or daddy is, or whether you from West Bay or East End, but in profits. It is only an examination of the history and sociology of Caymanian entrepreneurial and labor exploitation from slavery to present that will reveals the truth. In the past Caymanians did work hard but they worked for themselves and their families, neither for local nor especially for foreign bosses.

This point is so significant and we should not feel ashamed that in the past we were self-sufficient family units and not instruments of capitalist exploitation. Today the price is unemployment when there are so many jobs in our country. However, had the politicians been allowed to recruit more and more Caymanian labor without concern to the financial consequences, we would be experiencing very little unemployment among qualified and willing to work Caymanians.  

Therefore, unemployment among Caymanians is mostly a consequence of the austerity measure of our government and our education system’s ability to produce many more qualified people than can be employed by government, rather than an increase in discrimination against Caymanians in the work place.

A solution to this problem must therefore be gradual and cannot be managed without the acceptance of certain sociological facts. Blame is, of course, never helpful because it will disrupt the possibility of any meaningful solution. Understanding the causes and meaning of Caymanian unemployment must begin with a truthful examination of Caymanian economic and social institutions past to present.

My question is whether the present Minister of Labor is willing to make this necessary analysis or is she also going to deny the relevancy of our past economic and social experiences on our present condition.

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  1. Troll La-La says:

    Has anyone noticed a 'pattern' regarding the 'troll-markers' of the above posts ??

    It appears to me that either XXXX it's someone who hasn't the vaguest idea what a 'troll' is  !!!!

    If you're going to mark a message as 'troll' for goodness sake have the intelligence when to know if someone is deliberately putting hateful remarks out there just for the sake of trolling….. otherwise, everyone has their opinions and just because you don't agree – that does NOT mean that they are being a 'troll' ……

    You however,  by marking their message as 'troll'  are being a 'Troll' yourself  99% of the time !!!

    Now,,,,,,,      'Troll' away  at this message  until your heart's content 🙂

  2. Anonymous says:

    The single greatest cause of unemployment amongst Caymanians is unemployability.

  3. Knot S Smart says:

    How many times did they shoot him in the foot again?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Dr Frank loves to give these heavy pronouncements concerning social issues keeping to vague generalities for which he is best suited.  Until he returns to earth and Cayman in particular and gives a clear and consistant accounting of the night he was shot and the people involved then he really remains part of the problem and not part of the solution.

  5. Anonymous says:

    As someone who has employed many Caymanians, the reality is that people are people wherever you go,but the Cayman employment market, as shaped by economics and most importantly local legislation has a massive effect a small group of individuals.

    There are fantastic, bright Caymanians who anyone would be lucky to work with.  They are probably no more or no less a percentage of the population than anywhere else.  There are also deadbeats, lazy, drunk, dishonest, workshy who no-one would want to give a a job.  Again I suspect they form no more a percentage of the working age population than most places.

    The problem is that local legaislation has bred an attitude among a small but significant part of the local workforce, that a passport and mere attendance is enough to get on in the world.  They are usually the poorer end of performers who react badly to any criticism, who threaten to complain to immigration if things don't go their way and  who once you have employed them are very difficult to move on.  These people would get kicked into reality in a real employment market, but the Cayman legal framework has bred a genuine "entitlement" mentality among this group (and this group alone).  This group are a small amount of people, let's say between 5% and 10% of the workforce, but they cause so much trouble in a business that they tarnish the reputation of the Caymanian workforce as a whole and lead employers to have concerns when taking risks on a new Caymanian hire, particularly in tougher economic times.

    • Agnes Wainwright says:

      I applied for a job here in Cayman (mind you,they 'were only hiring Caymanians/Cayman Status"),  I attended SIX interviews and they all seemed to go well.  During the last interview I was told what department and what position the job would be about and that 'they' were very pleased with the CV.  However, 'they' had another person to be interviewed and that 'they' would get in touch with me.  Fair enough.  I was feeling positive about this interview and thiking that the job was mine.  Days went by, not a word from the firm.  After 3 weeks I heard through the grapevine that the job had been given to an ex-pat!  On the 4th week I receive an email from HR dept of that firm. 'Hi, OOPS! I forgot all about you.  You did not qualify.  Kind regards, "XXXX.

      I could not reply as the email was one of those 'non-reply' emails.

      I think the peron from HR was very unprofessional and the email was inappropriate.

       And they keek hiring expats!

      • Anonymous says:

        Your lack of imagination in the point about the "no reply" email shows how this employer dodged a bullet.  Saying that this story is obviously made up so we are not that worried.

      • SSM345 says:

        Perhaps you forgot to use spellcheck with your CV too.

      • Anonymous says:

        You're lucky – As a qualified Caymanian, I have gone for interview only to be told (upon walking through the door for interview) …."We do have someone earmarked from …….(Country) , however Immigration have told us that we need to Interview more Caymanians. In other words, they had no intention of hiring me, they simply used me to make up the numbers……

        I had a reasonable right to officially challenge the decision and make a lot of noise against this big Corporation but my opinion is that I really would not want to work for a Company which takes Nationality as a Criteria as opposed to ability……   besides which, nothing would have happened anyway, so I would have just been flapping my lips for nothing….. I let it go .

        I hope my spellcheck worked – and this is a true story 🙂



        • Anonymous says:

          Please explain why you capitalise random nouns.  Are you part German?

        • Don't Stress says:

          The excessive use of caps would have ruled you out eventually in any case. 

  6. Just Askn says:

    The public would still like to know how you mysteriously got shot and what happened to the gun?

    people, the gun is still out there!

  7. Anonymous says:

    A poltiics 101 level mix of neo-Marxism and complete BS.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I have to agree with Dr. Frank regarding paragraph #3 of his above article –  As a fellow Caymanian and being  unemployed at the time, I called the good Doctor who I had known for years  for some advice regarding my unemployment situation (this was after he had been elected and happily back in the working world) – He simply snubbed me as if I was begging him for a hand-out…..even pretended not to know me !  

    In retrospect, I guess he was the last person to go to for advice on unemployment !!


  9. Anonymous says:

    Spit on anyone lately Dr. Frank?How this moron ever got elected is beyond me. 

    • Anonymous says:

      An elected offical is nothing more than a representative of those that elected hin/her. Since this is fact we need to be very leary of the people in GT as he is what a majority once stood for. This man has an agenda with an undertone of entitlement to his fellow brothers. He has an undertone of the instigation of a race war. There are many that share his sentiments and the good people need to ensure that he or his kind never hold office again. He would for certain prefer to send expats home and have hard working wealthy Caymanians give what amounts to hand outs to their brethren. He wpuld like to see prosperity divided not earned and worked for amongst the problems of the social culture. He needs never to gain office again.

  10. Dog Gone says:

    All the Caymanian bashers go check out CNS re: Levitt get 7.5 years. We maybe late to work but we aren't serial thieves !

    i know of one English manager where I worked used to take home toilet paper…..go figure that one and all his expenses was met by the firm!

    • Anonymous says:

      So because of him now all expats are serial thieves to you?  And its now OK to be late to work once more.  Seriously, grow up. Get a job. Do the job.  Keep the job.  Then bash the expats who are not working.  Wait.  They're all working.  Never mind.

    • Diogenes says:

      On the basis of one conviction of an expat you draw the conclusion that no Caymanians are serial thieves? Quite apart from the complete lack of logic the occupancy rates at Northward would appear to contradict you.

      PS Saying all Caymanians are late to work is BS as well.

    • Anonymous says:

      caymanians commit 90% of crime on the island…..thats good going for people who only make up 50% of the population!

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh really? Where did you pull that statistic from – out of your @ss? And please don't talk about Northward population since that represents only those who have actually been caught and convicted of crimes. There is evidence that many crimes are committed by persons who come to the Islands for that express purpose.   

    • Anonymous says:

      So this justifies being late for work? That's an excuse?? You are responsible for your own lives, no-one else, and if you have any respect for yourself you will turn up on time and work. That is they way people might start to respect you, rather than BS excuses all the time.

  11. Chief Bromden says:

    " My pop was real big. He did like he pleased. That's why everybody worked on him. The last time I seen my father, he was blind and diseased from drinking. And every time he put the bottle to his mouth, he didn't suck out of it, it sucked out of him until he shrunk so wrinkled and yellow even the dogs didn't know him."

  12. Anonymous says:

    But the fact that so many Caymanians are now without employment might at least suggest that they are not considered as dependable and skilled as the more expensive expats.  Its not personal.  Its just good business. If you can't keep up, shut up then get out of the way.

  13. AnonToo says:

    I recently asked an employer why is it that he has other nationalties doing jobs that Caymanians could do and he replied to me that there were several reasons why:

    Because the other nationalties took the job more seriously and came to work on time and never missed a day.

    Because they worked for fixed periods (the length of their permit) thereby causing him less stress that they might suddenly walk off the job and leave him in a bind.

    Because he had no fear that they would learn from his small business then start a competing business.

    Because he felt that as an employer hiring Caymanians he faced the issue (based on his past experience) that if they did not like the job and performed badly and he laid them off,  then they would complain to the labour board and cause him the employer a lot of stress and problems.

    I am just repeating what someone said to me and am not agreeing or disagreeing with his view, and yes, that employer was a Caymanian.

    The question that came to my mind from all of this was whether employees being able to complain to a government body (the labour board), which then essentially acts for the employee – really helps or hurts Caymanians from being employed?

    Is it not possible that if Caymanianemployees were not entitled to have a government body  prosecute their employer for any disareement  that arises about the job – whether the employee would thereby perform better, and work harder so as to get and hold the available jobs?

    Just a thought.

    • noname says:

      There may be some truth in your last paragraph but bear in mind the now 'ex-employees' who would have no-one to fight their cause when real injustices arise.

      I am a Caymanian who worked for a large Offshore Bank and they actually 'set-me-up' in order to get rid of me as soon as I had finished a Major project ……. Because they had decided to outsource some of the Department duties overseas & away from Cayman my Senior position was no longer needed to the same extent.     I was an A+ rated worker with excellent reviews,  commendations and bonuses awarded for excellent performance.

      Instead of trying to accomodate me elsewhere, or make me redundant with the appropriate considerations –  they purposely orchestrated a situation which would inevitably cause my Department  to fall down on a day's work., and took the opportunity to make me the 'fall-guy' and  fire me without any verbal or written warning.

      This was a devastating point in my Career and totally undeserved, so I had to defend my reputation.

      Fortunately with my clear evidence,  the tribunal saw through them (despite the Banks' digging into their deep pockets to hire a Lawyer whilst I could only afford to represent myself) and they totally agreed that it was absolutely clear I had been purposely sabotaged by Management of the Bank as they no longer needed me.

      I won the case , (albeit my compensation was little) but at least my reputation was upheld.

      In any event, regardless whether it be a Caymanian or ex-pat – any worker who is truly being mistreated should have the right to be represented or heard,  otherwise the monopoly becomes the Company owner's as to how he treats his Employees, without the  fear of reprisal.

      • Anonymous says:

        Shows one problem in Cayman – how hard it is to get rid of people you don't want around.

        • Anonymous says:

          Not at all – This Bank had every right to make someone redundant through normal channels once the position was truly redundant.

          All they needed to do was give the proper notifications, advising why the position was redundant and giving the appropriate notices, severance/redundancy pay etc., instead of trying to dishonestly 'shaft' the Employee.

          No one has the absolute 'right' to a job if it no longer exists, which is why there are proper redundancy procedures in place to allow them to 'get rid' of those Employees. The Tribunal is needed, when the Company/Bank becomes as Law unto itself and thinks it can just 'dump' loyal Employees when it no longer needs them.

          btw – Interestingly, the Country Manager responsible was a Caymanian also…..

      • Anonymous says:

         Outsourcing is a completely justifiable reason for downsizing local staff, but it's too bad you didn't recognize the constructive dismissal earlier. You might have been able to negotiate a generous buy-out and gracious send-off without all the drama.

        • Anonymous says:

          I agree – which you'll see is what I am saying a couple of posts down….

          Unfortunately, whilst the constructive dismissal seems to have been planned over quite a stretch, it was executed very quickly and sneakily !!  They did the same thing to another Employee a week or 2 later but he didn't have the guts to stand up to them.

        • Anonymous says:

          I'm in the middle of constructive dismissal. Do tell how you turn that into a generous buy-out and gracious send-off without all the drama when you're up against a big firm! LOL

          You're funny

    • Anonymous says:

      Dear Sir or Madam.

      You obviously have not seen or heard about what really happens when a report is made. The labor board could not care one way or the other. If they know you as an employer, you will get the heads up about the report. If they dont, which is in most cases, then you will be surprised when you get the complaint that will stress you until you are sick. Worst if  the person making the complaint is a female, and they will for some reason make the complaint looking all nice and sweet. And prayer help you if its a male taking the complaint. There are always 2 sides, and that labor board will take it upon them selves to make sure that even if you are right as an employer they will find somethng to get you. This place is all about who knows who. One day I would like to see that department after receiving the report, just call the employer and ask for the real story and then take action against the former employee for making such false complaints.

      • Anonymous says:

        To be fair,,,, I have been through the procedure and can tell you that both sides are provided with a written copy of the complaint by mail and  the Employer has a certain time to review the complaint and respond , as does the Employee……. this is before the tribunal date is even set (at which time the officers go through the details of the case in minute detail).

        Now I will comment that when I was waiting for the tribunal interview, I did hear the 'then' Head of Labour (this was a few years ago) clearly say 'good luck' to an Employer – which I found to be absolutely inappropriate for an Officer who was supposed to be unbiased in the process.

        Fortunately, he is no longer there !!

  14. Anonymous says:

    You quite obviously have a doctorate in philosphy. Philosiphers love nothing more than their own oppinions, regardless of how wrong and misleading they are.

  15. Confused&Bemused says:

    It's simple, poor work ethic and attitude mixed with a sense of entitlement without qualification.

  16. Whodatis says:


    I have taken the extra step to highlight some of the "worst rated" comments to the provided news story from the UK.

    It's firms' duty to employ Britons, says minister: Taking on migrant workers is 'easy option'

    • "well British workers are more expensive to hire having my own business I do rather take solid and cheaper staff. .."

    • "Bull. Too many times Young British workers have proved to be less able, less energetic and lacking in basic education and dress sense. It's a competitive market out there and employers should choose the best."

    • "It's not an easy option. The Brits want high wages and many are just bone idol."

    • "THe British are idle cant turn up on time and are perpetually off sick so who can blame employers?"

    • Anonymous says:

      What's interesting is that your links are all to The Daily Mail website.  Nobody in the UK takes any notice of a Daily Mail reader and nor should Caymanians.

      • Whodatis says:

        Mail Online overtakes NY Times as top online newspaper …

        Regardless, in terms of online newspapers, what matters today is readership and user-submitted content. You do understand that the news site in question did not compose the thousands of comments, ratings and shares of the linked story, right?

        (I thought snobs of your category died out with the dinosaurs? Better yet, with the archaic news corporations that you and your colleagues subscribe(d) to, lol!)

        Look outside your window buddy … see all of that?

        That is called 2013.


      • anon says:

        Oh look.  13 thumbs down.  The narrow minded bigots have woken up.  Go back to reading your comic!

      • Anonymous says:

        I am not surprised the Whodatis uses the Daily Mail as his research paper, it is perfect for his political purposes.

        • Anonymous says:

          Oh no !!!  I'd recommend 'The Sun' as the best source…..At least when you get tired of all the rhetoric you can turn back to the Topless Beauty featured daily on Page 3  ….

    • Discus Ted says:

      In other words, the message is "employ expats, they're generally better"!

  17. Whodatis says:

    The saddest thing in all of this – and it occurs in every discussion of this nature – is the way these issues are nationalized.

    Any fair-minded and well-traveled individual will realize that the economic and labor issues being discussed here are present and apply to every society today.

    For example, I have listed article upon article highlighting statistics, employer opinions, and posters' comments (British online press) on the less than stellar state of the typical, modern, British worker of today.

    We have seen reports of sub-standard literacy skills, a poor work ethic, a sense of entitlement etc. – all coming out of the UK.

    (Time and again we read of British business owners praising the work-ethic, dedication and educational standards of their newly arrived Eastern European employees – employees for whom English is not a native language, no less!)

    In fact, we could simply exchange the word "Caymanian" with "Brits" and we would read identical sentiments to those within any news article or opinion in the UK today.

    Obviously many will not agree with me, nothing new there, but I am simply outlining the truth of the matter.

    However, why this is the case is not easy to ascertain. Nevertheless, we can all safely assume that these issues are not always as black and white as they appear.

    In a nutshell, the concept of control and loyalty in terms of employees to an establishment is a fleeting one in all western economies today.

    The (national) worker / individual has been pumped to the gills with rights, benefits, unions, legal protection, taxation etc. – all devices that place the employer in a disadventageous position in this regard, legally and financially.

    This reality is married to the other of the expatriate worker's very existence being dependent on the job in question, which is one heck of a motivator by the way.

    (Ask any British, German (or Caymanian) employer how quickly things change when that worker obtains national status! Oh yes, the minute Natalia or Abdul finds a Simon or Heike to marry on a Saturday afternoon – rest assured it is gonna be an interesting Monday morning, lol!)

    Therefore, the appeal of an expatriate worker to a company or firm is not hard to understand.

    Regarding the Cayman situation, in addition to the issues mentioned above there are a few other factors that need addressing in order to bring about a positive change – for Caymanians. (Not being "xenophobic", but such a stance is the inherit right of any national. In fact, I would extend the very same right / advice to the people of every other country.)

    Firstly, the need of a minimum / living wage has never been more pressing in Cayman. This has been made clearly evident with the the ongoing 1500 TLEP debacle.

    Caymanians will only return to a state of moderate economic stability when effective means to eradicate imported slave labor / poverty from the country are enacted. There is no way around that point.

    However, in addition to this we also require for our local workforce to fully grasp the reality of today's world. The bubble we rode on the 80's, 90's and early 2000's was a norm for us but a fable for most others in this world – and that bubble has long burst. (We must adjust accordingly or be willing to forfeit all that we have remaining.)

    The reasons why are too plentiful to breakdown at this time, but all Caymanians need to understand today is; "Get in where you fit in!".

    The reality we currently face is especially precarious for us because it is one that is 50:50 in nature. There is no time and place for dilly-dallying because there are literally, MILLIONS of people all over the world today that would do next to anything for YOUR JOB!!

    * Actually, although I am grateful for the standard of living and quality of life afforded to us here in Cayman, I am somewhat saddened at the same time. I feel this way because I witness my tiny island nation  in the middle of a fierce tug-of-war. On one side we have the fast-paced, high-rise, corporate / luxury element – and on the other, we have the laid-back, idyllic, peaceful and kind-hearted island paradise that just wants to be left alone. My greatest wish in all that is going on around us is for more of our newcomers (and many of our "natives" as well) to simply understand and respect this reality. Taking the time to understand that there exists many different perspectives on this tiny rock will go a long way to heal some of the rifts that we are seeing today.

    Yes, change is inevitable, however it must be carefully administered. Otherwise we will continue to see the fallout that is plauging us at the moment e.g. rise in crime, unemployment, misguided youths etc. Furthermore, and most importantly, Cayman can not and should not permanently accommodate every resident that exists today. Our local population is still very much in a stage of development and if it is not given the opportunity to optimize and reach its full potential – the ramifications will be very dire for all of us, Caymanian or otherwise.

    Like it or not, the hopeless that live amongst us are not going away, and every living person has a requirement to eat every single day. The means required for them to get those meals are what must be kept in mind as we create our policies and plans going forward.

    Anyway, this is getting much longer than I planned so I will abruptly sign off at this time.

    Depending on replies, if any, I will delve a bit deeper into the issues and touch upon the many that were fully ignored, e.g. prejudice against Caymanians in the workplace, foreign / foreign-minded HR managers, cost of living / cost of energy in the country, lack of effective consumer protection laws, lack of effective unfair competition laws, the business lobby – to name a few.

    I trust we will bear some of these issues in mind before we tap away recklessly, or maliciously in many instances, on our keyboards. Otherwise, as it stands, the end result tends to be a cringeworthy orgy of prejudice, malice and worst of all – ignorance.

    Wishing everyone a pleasant weekend.

     – Whodatis

    • Binge Thinker says:

      People are people and human nature is what it is. All over the world there are work categories that locals simply will not engage in, once their country has achieved a certain level of development and standard of living.

      The problem we have in Cayman is that we ought to be as near to perfect as a little rich nation can be. Instead we have watched the politicians, in particular since the advent of the parties, fritter away our money on the trappings of state without much to show for it.

      But people are people and human nature is what it is. So why should we be any different?

      Depressed now.

      • Whodatis says:

        In my humble opinion, I believe we should, or at least try our hardest to, be different because the inevitable fallout of this "human nature" will impact us more severely when compared toother jurisdictions.

        This is yet another copy and paste formula injected into our economy that simply does not fit our particular equation.

        I hope we will find a way to resolve these issues however, it appears as if the trust placed in our newly elected government was somewhat naive and premature.

        (I will change my mind when I start seeing results on the ground. Lip service means nothing to me, and so far all I have witnessed in this regard is just that.)

        Thanks for adding your thoughts, Binge Thinker. Good username by the way.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh dear, I agree with whodatis. Unfortunately just to reinterate what you are saying but to add why the employers really prefer the foreign worker is that they will work for practically nothing, pay their pwn permits and in many cases don't even have pension or health.  We need to have a minimum wage and that will put an end to some of this.

      • Anonymous says:

        The local already employers cheat on pension and health care pensions. If a minimum wage law comes into effect, they will cheat on that one too.

      • Whodatis says:

        What you are describing is simply exploitation. I agree, these should be no tolerance for such behaviour in our society.

        Unfortunately, the bigger economies of the world have provided the blueprint for these practices. We need to reject rather that embrace such policies.

        Thanks for replying.

        • Anonymous says:

          I know of an African worker here who is an accountant at a very small business. She also cleaned the office every weekend and did just about everything in that business. She was not paid a lot of money for being an accountant and she was well aware her Caymanian boss was deductiong from her salary and not contributing to her pension. She was also paid late on the regular and had employer chq's returned often. She was very accepting and accomodating to the boss despite all this…now tell me why that is?

    • Anonymous says:

      The 'local workers are inept' phenomenon is also in part pro-business propaganda.  They want to hire better priced foreign workers, so they sell this idea that they have no choice.  They may even fool themselves into believing it whether it is true or not.

      Ido not believe a living wage should be applied to 'citizens', but only to imported labour for two reasons.  First, it will be an added barrier to finding employment.  Think entry level positions.  Second, there is a key conceptual difference.  If a business is importing labour which cannot be deemed to sustain itself with a reasonable wage, they are importing it at the detriment of the rest of society(Isn't the immigration board already supposed to be doing this?).

      The 'living wage' rate should be calculatable in an open/transparent way and fluctuate periodically.  If businesses want cheaper imported labour, they need to work to lower the islands cost of living which is significantly high.  Hopefully this will not be through government subsidies.

      Anyways those are my thoughts.  There will always be businesses which are only profitable by importing poverty.  If this is the case, they should not exist at all.

      • Whodatis says:

        Excellent points!

        Thanks for reading and adding your thoughts.

        • Anonymous says:

          A pleasure.  None of it matters however unless its actually enforced.

      • Ya Mon says:

        "If businesses want cheaper imported labour, they need to work to lower the islands cost of living which is significantly high."

        Go ahead and write to the landlord to lower your employee's rent, to the grocer to lower your employee's grocery bill, to CUC to lower your employee's power bill, and let us know how that turns out.

        In the CS you get cases where uneducated buffoons rise to great heights (i.e. Herr ex-Diktater) but in the private sector you either do the job you were hired to do, without needing constant supervision from the owner (who hired the employee to do the job so they could focus on growing the business), or you get turfed out. The private sector isn't a welfare line with free money for unemployables. Simply be better at the job than the next person and you keep the job, otherwise go look for something where you fit in.  That's how the private sector works and how people learn self-reliance.  PS, if you don't actually want to do anything tasking, choose something like being a security guard so you can just walk around and check that doors are locked. You don't have to set your sights on CEO of a major bank, especially if your temperament, education and skill set aren't amenable to that position.

        • Anonymous says:

          You did not entirely understand my post.  Please explain how the last paragraph is in any way related to what I mentioned.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I think the business method is just great. Profit ,profit ,profit. Why would any business individual want to give anything that benefits the working populace? Why not bring people from third countries to do everything we need to keep profits going higher. Why have any rest or shops or schools for the masses unless they can pay. If they can't pay no problem we will get even cheaper employees. I knew a guy who had a farm to keep profitable he made his employees build a hut with thatch palm leaf with no running water and keroscene lamp. Then he made them build a pit for an outhouse too. Now thats profitable ! He was able to makeall the profits because they had to plant their own food too.

    When we need to do construction on the island we'll bring them from Jamaica. We only need to  promised them good wages. We'll fire them and keep hiring different ones and keep dropping their salary. When the new entry arrives we'll say he wanted to much money. Then offer the new guys less and then keep recycling. Its more money then they make so they will take it with a smile.

    We could also blame it on immigration. "They made us do it" So much profit could be made. Lets see, the employee needs to pay for insurance thats the law.We'll make the employee pay for their insurance and their pension. We don't need to offer that. If they want the job they have no choice.

    Lets see the Ritz Carlton sold for 177 million when they sold shares to another company . plus they have been full house all season. This has been the best year for that hotel . Their only problem is their elect. bill. Because they are paying less then Hyatt was. The other great deal was the new holiday Inn bought for 4 million dollars. They hired Caymanians as part time for concacaf. You need to buy insurance and pensions for these hotels . When the insurance is offered it has restrictions based on weight and otherpreexisting conditions you must pay 3 months in advance? from where? The money tree?

    Is there no one else beside Arden and Ezzard that can see that there is something wrong with the system????? 

    Please fix or change the system frustrated Caymanian

    • Anonymous says:

      The only thing wrong with the 'system' is that our policiticians would rather fritter away our money than spend it more prudently on improving the vocational options and facilities at schools and colleges.  Unless the skills gaps currently being filled by work permitys are identified; and courses and apprenticeships put into place to ensure the opportunity is there for school and college pupils to train and qualify in the relevant occupations, the madness will only continue and the expat/Caymanian hatred will increase.  If our kids were given the same opportunities expats have, then surely we'd stand a better chance.  Theeducation system needs completely revamping and its time to stop expecting the employers to school people into careers – its merely a simple copout by successive administrations to address the real issue here.  Admittedly the results would not be instant, but they would ensure that at some point in the future, there would be minimal expat work permits granted and fully skilled and trained local workforce to take most if not all available roles.  Its time for attitudes to change.  Businesses other than schools and colleges are not educators – they are in it for profit and success. If we could address our education system in this way businesses would be encouraged to set up here as they could find a skilled workforce on-island without all the expense and hassle of bringing in international applicants and going through all the ridiculousl immigration procedures.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I fail to see how you can claim unemployment status on one hand and to be a business owner on the other. Running a business you own means you are self employed not unemployed….

  20. Anonymous says:

    "The expat owners of business have had a different approach to employment, always employing to increase profits rather to socially control."

    What reason did you start your businesses, if not to make a profit?  Or was it for 'social control' – Not that I'm quite sure where you were going with that.


    "Therefore, unemployment among Caymanians is mostly a consequence of the austerity measure of our government and our education system’s ability to produce many more qualified people than can be employed by government, rather than an increase in discrimination against Caymanians in the work place."

    There are so many things wrong with this sentence, however, have you seen the quality of 'graduates' the government schools have been spitting out for the past few years?  And they are our hope for the future?  Please.

    Dr. Frank, stop adding to the 'entitlement attitude' of Caymanians and the divide between Caymanians and Ex-pats.

    Cayman would never have gotten to where we are without the ex-pats.  Are you really under the delusion that we would have become the world's fifth largest financial center WITHOUT expatriates?

    Cayman was/is also known as a major tourist destination.  Yet who serves in our hospitality industry?  Not Caymanians.  No, Caymanians consider themselves too proud to wait tables, work at a front desk, or clean rooms. 

    I am a Caymanian who owns a very small business.  Without the ex-pats, my business would not exist.  Let me be the one to say what we all know.  Caymanians do not support their own.  End of story. 

    WE have created the very situation that we are moaning and complaining about.  Having a system whereby work permit holders are not allowed to change jobs during the currency of a work permit coupled with the 'entitlement' attitude of a lot of Caymanians is a proven recipe for disaster. 

    A work permit holder cannot generally change employers during the currency of a work permit.  In about 90% of cases, they will be accused of 'job hopping' and every subsequent permit application will be refused.  This is not speculation.  It's a fact. The employer and the employee both know this. 

    So, the work permit holder, shows up to work as scheduled, Mon – Fri 8:30 – 5:50 pm.  They arrive to work on time (generally a few minutes early) have a good attitude, only take 1 hours' lunch, generally don't call in sick on Monday's and Friday's, and tackle their workload the best that they can and will work for wages that a Caymanian never would.  Unfortunately, this is something that unscrupulous employers will take advantage of.

    Now, let's compare this to the entitled Caymanian, who shows up when he wants, has a bad attitude, takes 2 hour lunches, demands more money for less work, and generally does just enough at work to get by. 

    Now follow that comparision to its logical conclusion. Which employee will be more advantageous and desirable to the business owner?

    See where I'm going with this Dr. Frank? 

    We cannot and should not be dictating to business whothey should hire.  Employees need to be competitive in the workforce.  If you don't have the career that you want.  Then figure out what you need to do to have the career that you want and start working towards it. 

    It's that simple.  Really. 

    Life does not 'owe' us anything.  The government does not 'owe' Caymanians jobs.  Now as a Caymanian, you have a right to certain tools to help you achieve success.  An education would be one of those tools.  USE IT. 

    Stop sitting around moaning and complaining, and blaming all our woes on the 'furrierners'. 

    We keep going down this path and we'll soon be demanding 40 acres and a mule.





  21. Anonymous says:

    I guess my wife leaving me was not my fault either. It must have been the goverment fault. After all she was my wife and I did do a lot of stupid things that embarassed her to the point of moving on. Frank your are so predujdice it is beyond comprehension. You remind me of that other Loco man running around the place looking like a "home less" rejected doctor that came from Cuba and still expecting CI Gov to continue to support him. If that idiot was the last so call doctor on earth, I would inject myself first before I let him treat me. In your case, you ramble so much and blame the white man for everything you can be whodatis, but then again, even whodatis takes a break from the rambling. Frank, get a Job. What makes you think that being caymanian means qualified.? You were not hired because the other canidates were simply more impressive. Move on. 

  22. anon says:


    “……employed my intellect….”,

    “……of use to my people……”

    What arrogance! 

    Add to that the random and almost arbitrary use of punctuation; it goes a long way to explaining why the writer has had little employment.


  23. Anonymous says:

    The first thing Caymanians can do is simply show up on time. Works wonders.

    • Expat says:

      Stop generalising, I work alongside many Caymanians who get to work an hour early and then work 12 hours days (we are only paid for 8). While you do get those that have appauling work ethic, you do in every country, it is just more noticeable in Cayman as expats in the professioanl seeting usually get to work on time as they have a lot more job insecurity.

      It depends on the type of person, NOT their nationality.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think he meant the Caymanians that CIG works for, pays for,listens to and not the Caymanians that work hard daily and don't ask for handouts.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can we stop generalizing? Whilst there are some Caymanians that don't want to work or have poor work ethics (and yes, those types of people do also exist in the USA, Canada, UK etc also), there are many hard working, dedicated and professional Caymanians who have had solid employment for years.

      • Anonymous says:

        "dedicated and professional Caymanians who have had solid employment for years."

        If they have been in employment for years then they are not unemployed and so not implicated in the statement made above 

      • Anonymous says:

        Your right.  Sorry.  I think he meant the "Give us the expats jobs because we can't get one on our own" group of Caymanians.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just to clarify, in the past, so many people on CNS have argued in the past that having Cayman Status makes them Caymanian. So I guess you also refering to those Caymanians who landed here 10 years or so ago from other places, right?

    • Anonymous says:

      Show up for work on time? Jesus, you're asking a lot aren't you.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I see now why you are unemployed and have been unemployed for most of your life.  Why exactly would any person run a business other than to make a profit. I seem to remember that was the very reason i set up my own business. I believe in fair wages and the welfare of our employees. You somehow find that unacceptable and believe it should be ' to please Caymanians'! Thats actually quite frightening.  It also explains why we have a bloated civil service and social service.  Yes indeed, your article has been very enlightening and I am a Caymanian!  God help us all!

  25. Senior says:

    Dr. Frank are you saying that  – from a history of Caymanian favoritism in the public sector excluding other Caymanians, and discrimination in the private sector including foreignors over Caymanians, to this present day, our rise in unemployment is now from government's austerity measures and failure to educate Caymanians enough, and that the Minister of Labor must focus her energy and ministry in reducing austerity and lack of education?  Why would you think that she will not be focusing her ministry on these things?  On the other hand, discrimination in the private sector is still alive and it would be shameful to see an increase of well educated Caymanians; especially newly graduates in a booming economy not finding any work because more and more foreignors will take the jobs away from them. When I listen to Ezzard Miller I can see he is arbitrary in some respect and wouldn't want him to be the head of running our economy, but I am able to sympathize with him. I understand him fully for his initiative against the new Immigration bill. Tara has just begun and came out of a Court session to defend her seat, it is too early to criticize her on her ministry I think.

    • Anonymous says:

      There are some interesting observations in there, but it is also clear why the guy is unemployed and it is indeed all of his own doing. You can live off the land and sea in the Caribbean if you want, but don't complain that there are no jobs for you in business unless you are prepared to add value to that business by doing what the business needs rather than doing what you feel like doing.

  26. Anonymous says:

    So you're trying to rally the troops to collectively discrimenate against expats? It's amazing how since there are no indigenous peoples in Cayman we are all technically expats even if some may have arrived 500 years ago (which isjust a drop in the ocean of history)… We are all expats of one form or another but that's easy to forget.  Your statement that expat owners are profit driven? Why open a business or run a business if you do not wish to make money or at least subsist? If that is truly your thought and what you believe is the Cayman mentality then there is the reason there are so many unemployed – because they do not wish to compete or make money.. So they join the civil service as the final option.. It is highlighted clearly when young Caymanians succeed though and there are plenty of success stories for which I am truly thankful… I'm sorry you feel the need to force a wedge further into the divide… some people have taken that wedge and used it as a step up to success!

    • Anonymous says:

      Ummm… a true born, generational Caymanian is NOT an expat by any definition of the term. Expats don't think of you as a fellow expat. They only wish to unite with you when they are threatened with a payroll tax and need your support. As soon as the spectre of that was gone so was the 'unity'. Don't try to confuse matters.


      • Anonymous says:

        And a caymanian only see the use of an expatriate when they will be getting a payroll tax from them!

      • Anonymous says:

        So a "Caymanian" is an expat who can not see the truth as an "normal" person can.  We knew that.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Started well, finished badly Mr Fields. This is not just about examining Caymans problems, it is about looking at the rest of the world and seeing what is needed to give Caymanians the best chance to employment, whether that is vocational, attitude, insight to the real world…whatever makes it work for Caymanians, so they can compete. How can people who have no experience of anything other than these Islands be expected to understand how international economies work? And how would they know what is needed from them to succeed? And lets get this striaght, the more Caymanians that succeed, the better the life for the whole Islands.

    Blaming recession and seemingly the "lack" of CS jobs(!!) is unbelievable and denying the real issues that exist in Cayman. If we don't get it sorted soon, then we may as well all pack up and go elsewhere. The world is not going to change to the Cayman way, Cayman must change to the worlds way. Our very survival depends on it.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think a large part is in general the youth are over reaching and many refuse to start at the bottom and gain the necessary experience. Many apply for jobs far exceeding their crrent levels and and get reseentful when they are rejected.