‘Miss Thang’ files complaint over Hott dismissal
Popular radio personality Kristy Burgess, also known as Miss Thang is no longer on the airwaves at Hott 1075. Ms Burgess announced at the end of her shift on Monday that: “This would be her last show.”
When contacted Ms Burgess said she was pulled off the air. “This matter is now in the hands of my lawyer,” said Ms Burgess.
The Royal Gazette understands that a complaint has been filed with the Labour Department over claims that Hott has breached the Employment Act.
In a statement issued yesterday the Labour Department said: “Please be advised that the Ministry offers no comment at this time.”
But Ms Burgess maintains a meeting was held on March 30 with the Department of Labour and staff of Inter-Island Communications; and that a union representative was present at the meeting.
The radio personality strongly believes the company laid her off instead of issuing an outright termination as a way for management to skirt around the issue of severance pay.
Ms Burgess told this newspaper that on Monday evening she was on air “facilitating” the show when Scott Pearman, the COO of Inter-Island Communications walked into the studio and handed her a letter.
The letter stated, she said: “I (Kristy Burgess) am laid off as of right now, while I was still on the air.”
Ms Burgess further claimed: “I asked him why, he (Mr Pearman) stated ‘that after four months I can come back’, I said I am entitled to a severance package and I want my severance package by Friday!”
In a prepared statement Mr Pearman said: “Inter-Island Communications Limited has maintained live on-air personalities for more hours a day during the past several years than any other local broadcasting entity.
“However, similar to many other businesses in the current economic climate, the company has deemed it prudent to cut operational costs that have unfortunately impacted all areas of our business model.”
Mr Pearman stressed: “The austerity measures have been fairly applied with a balanced approach and have affected various employees without compromising the quality of programming and will allow for an even more efficient and optimal broadcasting service.”
Apart from that he said: “No additional public comments will be made by management in relation to the internal operation of Inter-Island Communications Limited.”
Ms Burgess, who has been on the air since the inception of Hott 107.5, is well-known for her charitable work in the community, particularly during the Christmas season.
She has hosted a number of community support drives to help less fortunate children in Bermuda.
Last year she was awarded the Queen’s Certificate and Badge of Honour.
She was named on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in recognition of her public service, particularly for the “out-of the-ordinary interest in the welfare of people of all ages”; especially young children.
While she would not be drawn on what her next legal course of action would be, Ms Burgess said: “I would like to take this time to say a heartfelt thank you to all my listeners and sponsors who have supported me from day one.
“As a positive young Bermudian woman I am appalled by the way I have been treated, but knowing that what I do for my community comes from my heart and is not for personal gain, I stand strong in who I am and what my rights are!”
Ms Burgess added: “I have been given a natural gift from God and what I have done in our community and will continue to do for my people speaks for itself.”