Monday, June 11, 2007

Sow the wind, reap a whirlwind

I see Government is tripping all over itself to reassure Barbadians, especially an irate Opposition, that work permits haven't been issued to the 600 Chinese labourers needed to construct the new Four Seasons Resort development in Black Rock. The Opposition is up in arms because they feel Barbadian labourers have been excluded from the project.

Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, Reverend Joseph Atherley, is saying that no work permits have been granted for the project which started last Tuesday, but the developer Michael Pemberton is going so far as to thank the Chief Immigration Officer for making it possible to employ a number of Chinese through the China State Construction Company! Sum ting wong, that's all I can say.

But back to Government. I'm not laying all the blame at their feet, just some of it. They've created a "handout" mentality in this country that has now turned around and bitten them on the butt. We have some Bajans without any ambition, drive or plain desire to work, who just wait for politicians to hand deliver them a job. Pride and industry are rapidly going out the window and are being replaced by sloth and indifference.

Don't get me wrong; it would be grossly unfair if Barbadians or other Caricom nationals were not given an opportunity to apply to work on a project that is literally in their own backyard. However, we Bajans have to get real. Have you tried getting some Barbadian carpenters or masons to do anything for you these days? Horror stories abound. Face it, people want their construction work done properly, to time and within budget. And if the Chinese can deliver that, they will continue to get the jobs.

The local construction sector needs a spokesperson and some positive PR to compel Barbadians to choose them over the Guyanese, the Chinese or whoever else turns up on these shores. I've seen relatives suffer for too many years at the hands of local artisans to have too much sympathy for them. Come correct guys, or hush up!

Click here to get a virtual tour of the private residences at the upcoming Four Seasons property!

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