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Garden equipment rental company boss offers jobs to laid-off Pompano staff

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McCal Roberts (File photograph)

A landscaper and ex-employee at a West End beach resort has offered short-term employment to his colleagues after the hotel announced a temporary closure because of the Covid-19 crisis.

McCal Roberts offered to take on up to ten workers from the Pompano Beach Club, where he also worked, for part-time posts at his Mac10Rentals firm after the club announced on Sunday that it would shut its doors until the end of February next year.

Mr Roberts said: “It’s not nice when you go to work and your boss puts a letter in your paycheque, believing that’s your last paycheque for the week or the month, and it tells you that we’re going to be closing.

“I understand that if I feel this way that means 80 other people are feeling the same way too.”

Mr Roberts said that the new employees will be trained on the job by himself and other experienced landscapers.

He said that workers will be sent to jobs in their area based on what is available at the time.

Mr Roberts admitted that there would not be a fixed pay and that workers were unlikely to make as much as the average landscaper.

But he added that employees could also receive alternative forms of payment, such as gift vouchers, that could help alleviate pressure from the cost of living.

Mr Roberts said that he would also be able to hire expatriate workers from the hotel, but added that their work would have to be compensated with gift vouchers given to the company by sponsors instead of monetary payment because Mac10Rentals was not a registered company.

He added that foreign workers would need a letter from their employer that gives them permission to take on another job.

Mr Roberts said: “I take the responsibility of immigration forms – the only thing I need is their employers signing a release letter saying that its okay for them to work for somebody else.

“From there I would explain to the non-Bermudians ’we can’t pay you because we’re not a registered company, so what we can do is give you donations and we can give you gift vouchers in lieu of your work’.”

He added: “It is legal for non-Bermudians to work if they fill out an application form from Immigration and they get a letter from their employers.”

McCal Roberts, of Mac10Rentals, cuts the West End Primary School lawn free of charge while others were stuck inside during the Covid-19 pandemic (Photograph supplied)

Mac10Rentals started as a lawn equipment rental service but offered a free landscaping service after Mr Roberts and a team of volunteers offered to maintain lawns across the island while most people were stuck inside during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Roberts said that he took a step back from the company when Pompano hired him as a waiter and left the day-to-day management to his team.

He said that he was on the hunt for more staff before the Pompano Beach Club shut and saw an opportunity to help his colleagues.

Mr Roberts added that, while discussions with the hotel were ongoing, the team could even find themselves maintaining the beach club while it was closed.

He said: “They’ve been working that property for years, so I can say ’I can facilitate you guys if you work for me at Pompano’.”

Mr Roberts said that he would keep former Pompano employees on board until the hotel reopened.

He added that he still wanted to hire other Bermudians as well as Pompano staff, but could not do the same for overseas workers who were not employed at the hotel.

Lawrence Lamb, the general manager and part-time owner of the Pompano Beach Club, said that he supported Mr Roberts “100 per cent” and was happy to pass on the offer to redundant staff.

Mr Lamb added: “For Bermudians, it’s as simple as showing up to work, but there’ll obviously be a little bit of paperwork that we certainly will assist McCal on if he’s found the right information on it.”

Mr Lamb said that two restaurants had contacted the beach club since they shut their doors to offer employment to their former waiting staff.

He added that Mr Roberts was “a big-hearted individual”.

Mr Lamb said: “We support him in a lot of philanthropic things that he does.

“He does a tremendous amount of things just because he’s got a huge heart and the community matters to McCal, which I think is awesome.”

To sign up with Mac10Rentals, contact Mr Roberts at 339-4011 or mac10rentals@gmail.com

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Published November 18, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated November 17, 2020 at 7:02 pm)

Garden equipment rental company boss offers jobs to laid-off Pompano staff

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