More than 200 workers at the Royalton will be added to the list of Grenadians benefitting from Government’s COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Package.
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr Keith Mitchell has confirmed that this decision was taken at this week’s cabinet meeting.
The stimulus package provides for workers in the tourism sector to receive 40% of their salary for three months, as part of payroll support provided to their employers. However, the Royalton workers, who had only been recently hired for the start of the hotel’s operations, were terminated when Grenada closed its borders.
Dr Mitchell said, “We have heard the outcry of workers and Cabinet has responded by approving the proposal to include them as beneficiaries of the stimulus package. So many of them were unfairly put on the breadline with no option for recourse. The government, therefore, felt morally obligated to provide some measure of relief to this category of persons.”
Dr Mitchell said the staff of the COVID-19 Economic Support Secretariat must be commended for the diligent execution of their functions, amidst many challenges.
He said, “It is unfortunate that the Royalton Hotel made no representation on behalf of its employees, leaving Government to seek out the requisite information. I must, therefore, commend the staff of the secretariat for taking on the additional task of employee registration and verification and preparing individual payments for them. Understanding the significant constraints that people are facing with their unexpected unemployment after being newly employed, they are working diligently to make these payments as soon as possible.”
The addition of the Royalton workers will bring to more than 3,600 the number of persons who have qualified to benefit thus far from the Government’s economic stimulus package. This number includes more than 400 bus operators and close to 200 persons offering taxi and tour guide services.
The stimulus package application process is ongoing and eligible persons may continue to submit their applications for the various initiatives, which are intended to help relieve the economic burden of persons affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.