By Everton Barnes
Prime Minister the Honourable Gaston Browne will formally present a cheque to workers of the ABI Bank. This represents a portion of the monies owed to them following the winding up of the bank’s operations. At a press conference slated for the Office of the Prime Minister today, PM Browne will hand-over the cheque to Nalinie McDavid and Fernando Samuel on behalf of the employees in the amount of $1,585,243.77.
In his prepared remarks issued exclusively to Caribbean Times, PM Browne said that this represents the first of two disbursements in respect of the Government’s payment to ABI staff. The second payment will be made by December 31, 2015. According to the Prime Minister, now that the ABI Bank is in receivership, all members of staff are owed money.
However, the calculation of what is owed to each staff member is a matter to be determined by the receiver. PM Browne explained that this process is likely to be a lengthy process, and the Government, in an act of goodwill, has decided to come forward and make the payments to the staff so that they may have immediate relief and benefits. In exchange, the Prime Minister is asking the staff to sign an agreement promising to pay to the Government any interest that may accrue from the outstanding monies.
Using the above methodology, the Government is in a position to make good on its promise which protects the interests of ABI workers. Furthermore, it ensures that the uncertainty and unpredictability for the staff awaiting payment under a receivership, is removed. At the press conference, Browne is expected to be surrounded by several Cabinet Ministers as he reports on the performance of the Government for the year, 2015. It will be the first time that the Prime Minister will be comprehensively reporting to the nation in this manner.