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Just Cleaners set to close

A cleaning firm accused of failing to pay its employees is to close next month.

Just Cleaners announced in a letter sent to staff this month that the business would close effective October 15.

It said that the company had “experienced significant difficulties over the past months”.

The company added: “Whilst all efforts have been made through cost-cutting in other areas, infrastructure changes, etc, it is not enough to sustain the business.

“As a result of these issues and necessary change in operational requirements, regrettably the company is constrained to close operations effective October 15.”

The letter comes after two staff members said last month that they had not been paid their wages in months.

One woman said that she had not been paid by the company for two months.

Another source said that several staff members had not received their wages for months.

Both workers spoke on the condition of anonymity. It is not known how many workers are employed by Just Cleaners.

The company said in the letter that its goal was “to ensure the smoothest transition possible”.

It added: “Further, the company has and will continue to make all efforts to ensure all dues will be provided [to] you after handover of the company to the appointed Official Receiver/liquidator.

“It is expected that a separate status letter outlining the status of your benefits upon termination will be provided, per the company's counsel.”

The letter advised employees that an employee-management meeting would be held “at the soonest to provide formal notification of status of action on operational requirements and to provide an opportunity to address any questions as best we are able”.

It added: “We want you to know that this is not a statement about your work for the company. You have been a dedicated, contributing employee.

“If you wish us to provide references, please let us know. We will do what we can to assist you during the transition.”

The letter is signed Just Cleaners Management.

The business did not respond to requests for comment sent by e-mail by press time yesterday. Calls to the business could not be connected.

A post on the company's Facebook page said that “our phone lines are still down due to Humberto”.

Just Cleaners' clients include the Bermuda Police Service, Butterfield Bank and power firm Belco. A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Labour, Community Affairs and Sport said that the ministry “continues to monitor the developments concerning an ongoing labour dispute at a local cleaning company”.

She added: “The ministry is limited in what it can offer in terms of comment due to the fact that complaints and inquiries made to the labour relations section are confidential.”

Lovitta Foggo, the Minister of Labour, Community Affairs and Sport, reiterated that any employee with concerns over wage payment should take their complaints to the labour relations section.

Ms Foggo added: “The labour relations section has the ability to investigate and mediate such complaints brought to its attention, as well as refer unresolved disputes to an arbitration or tribunal panel for adjudication.”

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Published September 26, 2019 at 9:00 am (Updated September 26, 2019 at 9:25 am)

Just Cleaners set to close

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