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.