As Caneel Bay Resort completes the final months of its management of concessions at Cinnamon Bay Campground (in August) and Trunk Bay Beach (in September), 32 employees are facing layoffs.
The news came as a shock to many of the employees.
“We heard about the layoffs from the media before they told us,” said one employee of Cinnamon Bay. “When they had a meeting, they told us there will be no transfers. If there’s an opening [at Caneel Bay], you can apply. It’s only seasonal, part-time work. There are no more benefits.”
Patrick Kidd, spokesperson for Caneel Bay Resort, confirmed that layoffs were pending.
“Very sadly, [those employees] are going to have to be laid off,” said Kidd. “We have very faithful employees. We hope Redwood Parks Company will re-employ them.”
Kidd said because Cinnamon Bay and Trunk Bay Beach operate as separate entities from Caneel Bay, simple transfers are not possible.
“We always do a big rehire in November for season,” he added.
Redwood Parks Company will be taking over the management of the two concessions as of October 1, 2016.
The employee at Cinnamon said that many employees have been working at the campground for 15 to 20 years, and there are four or five who have been there for more than 30 years.
She said some long-time guests at Cinnamon have been coming to the front desk and asking about the closing, concerned that the staff members they’ve come to know are losing their jobs.
She said she plans to apply for a job with Redwood Parks Company.
“I don’t want to stay home, and I can’t live on my social security yet,” she said. “The new owners should come and meet with us, listen to us, and make a decision about rehiring us.”
Kidd confirmed that Caneel had sent the names of 32 employees to the Department of Labor to comply with the V.I. Plant Closing Act.
According to the Department of Labor website, “Chapter 18, Title 24, Section 472 of the V. I. Code states that every employer who is closing a facility shall at least 90 days prior to the Plant Closing give advance Notification to the Commissioner of Labor, any affected employees, and if the employees are represented by a Labor Union to such Union.”