Marriott construction: cost objections, lack of Guyanese workers- video

Government presses on with Marriott construction despite cost objections, lack of Guyanese workers

Capitol News- February 11, 2013 –

At the site of the Marriott Hotel today, two protectors  and they hope others would join them soon.  They were protesting the fact that no Guyanese workers are being used in the construction of the hotel.

The construction of the Marriott-branded hotel is so far being funded by Guyanese taxpayers. The Government has said that it is in advanced discussions with investors.  

As for why there are no Guyanese workers, the Government explained that the Trinidad company reduced their bid price by nine million dollars, in exchange for the option to employ whoever they want, and so far, they have only taken on a Chinese workforce.

The Government had boasted that the project, which is costing over US$50 million, would create hundreds of jobs. Now, the Government is saying that those Guyanese jobs would come once the hotel is up and running. But months into construction, there are no Guyanese construction workers. Kaieteur News saw no Guyanese workers at the site after repeated visits. The Chinese workers eat, work, and sleep on the site.

Representatives of the Chinese company at the Kingston, Georgetown site are not being allowed to speak to the media unless they get permission from Atlantic Hotels Incorporated (AHI).

Atlantic Hotels is the company set up by the Guyana Government through which taxpayers’ dollars are being funneled to finance the facility in the absence of any named investor to date.

In late 2011, former President Bharrat Jagdeo officially turned the sod for the construction of the hotel with the promise, that the project will create hundreds of jobs in the construction phase, and beyond when it becomes operational.

The 160-room hotel and entertainment complex is expected by February 2014.

Despite pressure by opposition Parliamentary parties and a Parliamentary motion to halt Government funding for the project, the Government is stubbornly pushing ahead with the project.  The Government is so far using tax dollars to fund the project. It has already handed over G$2 billion to the contractor.

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  • Laura G  On 02/12/2013 at 6:31 pm

    Stop this construction now!! The protest must be more about the government wasting our hard-earned dollars without our support. Release info,. on who the other investors are, release feasibility studies… do we really need a ‘marriot’ when we should be taking that money to invest in human capital and education. Let our monies be used wisely.

  • compton de castro  On 02/12/2013 at 7:39 pm

    Laura G

    I echo your sentiments and your call to action….
    The media must also support your call….may I also add that the threat of a LAW suit against the guyana governemnt for “discrimination” may be pending…

    I experience a similar situation in southern SPAIN..but the motives for discrimination are different….an east european building site worker will
    accept 30 euros a day as wages while the Spanish worker demands 60-70
    euros a day…so who gets the jobs….! The employer (spanish) prefers to employ the Romanian or Hungarian or African et al as ..
    1. he pays them less
    2. he has to pay spanish worker s minimum wage 6.09 euros hour
    3. he can employ the outsider illegally…no IVA or TAX ….

    a catch 22 situ….

    If it can be “evidenced” “proved” that no GUYANESE workers are being employed on the site may I suggest a “clever” no win no fee lawyer be employed
    to sue the employer/employers/guyana government for “discrimination” !!

    It is alwys wise to have the LAW on your side before taking the neccessary action. If also you have the media on board…the government must act.
    Failing that they become de-selected at the ballot box.

    democracy must not only seem to be happening…it must happen.


  • bernard  On 02/12/2013 at 10:54 pm


  • Cyril Balkaran  On 02/13/2013 at 9:36 am

    The Government of Bharat Jagdeo made a deal with the Atlantic Hotels Corp that is building the marriot. The deal was that they reduced their price by 9million US $ in exchange for an open Policy to employ whoever that Trinidad company so wants. This is the Policy in effect. When the delivery of the Hotel is done in 2015
    Guyanese will run the establishment.

  • compton de castro  On 02/13/2013 at 1:36 pm

    I question the “deal” of reduction by 9M …
    If the project cost 150M and a reduction of 9M was the deal….
    that “allows TRINIDAD company to employ non-guyanese labour then
    it smells ! …no one reduces their costs by less than 6% with such a binding
    clause…I smell dead fish !…and I am 6000miles away…ha ha !

    If however the argument was because GUYANA does not have the skills in their labour force to do the job effectively/efficiently I go along with it…

    LABOURING is not a highly skilled job … it is down how the LABOURERS are
    managed….either by their “foreman” or their “engineers” – “managers”

    I rest my case


  • Bridgit A Sam-Bailey  On 02/14/2013 at 9:47 am

    I would have thought that the Government of the day has a responsibility to secure employment for it’s nationals. As kamptan states, if the nationals do not have the “skills” – and I doubt that is universal in Guyana – they could be managed or supervised to improve what skills they already have. We also know that there are a number of skilled craftsmen and bulders in Guyana.

  • Melville family Linden, Guyana  On 02/14/2013 at 9:58 pm

    For high-rise construction, the skills needed are very technical for that is the trade I do here in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I am upset though being Guyanese-born that my country’s government is not even offering and apprenticeship to its only people for future sites and infrastructure that they want to create, so that they will have an educated and trained workforce.

  • kamptan  On 02/15/2013 at 12:22 pm

    thank you bridgit we are both seeing the “Forrest” politicians lack of vision astound me !

    Political correctness ..reeks of corruption.
    Hunt dem down and when u catch dem incarserate them…the way forward…

    HARD LABOUR to repay the TAXPAYERS for their “IN-ACTION” “ineptitudes”
    gross negligence in addressing the “bribery and corruption” that seems endemic in GUYANA society. My heart bleeds…!

  • N Augustus  On 02/15/2013 at 5:43 pm

    Seeingt the trees from the forest. On one hand Guyanese labor should be used when possible. On the other hand should the 100 chinese building the hotel, cause it not to be built or built at a greater cost and in a longer time as some suggest may happen? Are we stopping 1200 temporary chinese workers at the expense of a possible permanent future 200 guyanese, plus related jobs? What labout the olther guyanese scom;panies and workers beneffiting curently from this project? What skills are available to satisfy the contractor needs and schedule? We need to look at all aspects of this deal and determine what is best for the Guyanese people under the current limited financial circumstances for finding funding for development. Being fairly well off does not allow me to say it is all right to stop or insist on renogiating the project unless some of the 100 workers are guyanes, wishout knowing all consequencjues. Just saying, bloggers must be sure to understand all facts before making decisions that may be just and benefit the nation on the whole and not do the opposite due to a mutually held belief in Guyanese labor benefitting from all projects when possible.. Do not kill the messenger whatever one may think.

  • N Augustus  On 02/15/2013 at 6:26 pm

    Correction to above reference
    1000 chinese workers, should have been 100. Also “What rbout the olther guyanese companies and workers beneffiting currently from this project? The point is make decisions carefullyand what is best in the long run and accept the consequences.

  • kamptan  On 02/16/2013 at 8:17 am


    look no further than one of your “poor” or “poorer” neighbours…EQUADOR

    The previous government had adopted the USD as legal tender “internally.
    I sent a copy from the economist for Cyril to read….hope he decides to

    The newly elected president took office in 2007 prior to 2008 economic “melt down” …read today how this leader has turned economics on its head…

    Yes in the “economist” a pro western economic publication….

    EQUADOR s president will now be re-elected for a second term…he has a PHD in economics but he is also an individual who is not afraid to make serious
    politico/econo decisions…

    POLITICS has everything to do with ECONOMICS..
    will see if I can forward a copty to …guyaneseonline

    the above comments by n augustus was interesting to read…thanks

  • Cyril Balkaran  On 02/16/2013 at 2:12 pm

    For Prosperity to prevail and Progress to be experienced, qualified politicians like the Equador President must be on board everywhere. They must be able to negotiate and do so well so that in times like the stymed parliament in Guyana where the Political Opposition has one seat majority, they can flex their muscle a bit and let the President Ramotar feel the pinch, but no these men in the Parliament are not intellectuals and so they will never be able to negotiate anything for the country’s benefit. Dissolve the Parliament and send all 65 on the Political hustlings and see the bacchanal that ensues. All the talk will be on Corruption and corruption and more corruption! This same Parliament has the power to make the laws to circumscribe the corruption in the Country but these dull witted men lack the power to initiate such needed policies for the Economic development of Guyana.

  • compton de castro  On 02/16/2013 at 2:52 pm

    in a word “SAD”…..or another “pathetic”…


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