Governor offers to meet frustrated locals

| 21/05/2019 | 92 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): After posting a graph depicting the many nationalities of the recording-breaking number of work permit holders in the Cayman Islands, Governor Martyn Roper, who described it as a demonstration of Cayman’s cultural diversity, has offered to meet local people frustrated by their lack of opportunity. A freedom of information response revealed that while many Caymanians struggle to find full employment that pays a living wage, there are now over 27,000 foreign workers on permits, the largest number in the country’s history.

The governor, who has been in Cayman since September, said the graph, which was created by staff at the Cayman Compass based on information released by the immigration arm of the new WORC agency, described it as a positive thing.

“Along with strong Caymanian culture, tradition and heritage, this diversity is an important contributor to our Islands’ success,” he said in a social media posting.

But the response from local people following the governor, who uses social media a good deal to promote the work of his office and engage with the community, was not all as welcoming.

Michael Myles, a former member of the education department and a leading commentator of the many social ills in Cayman that are leading to the prison-poverty cycle, pointed to problems that have arisen from the dramatic increase in work permits, which did not reflect success for local people.

“The majority of Caymanians are not experiencing success. Please look at the statistics of welfare, prison, court and Caymanians losing their homes. If this is success, then something is wrong,” he said.

Mario Rankin questioned who was enjoying success and said the governor had not been in Cayman long enough to make such a comment and that he had been “fed a scrip to read”.

Other commentators raised concerns about the more than 11,500 permits held by Jamaicans alone and questioned whether the nationality quotas that were once in place to prevent employers having workers from just one country still existed.

Another commenter spoke about the increase in what is essentially people trafficking. Illegitimate labour brokers are taking advantage of the local work permit system by bringing people here on temporary permits for often non-existent jobs; they are then left to find their own work to pay back the traffickers.

Responding to the concerns, Roper offered to meet with them. “Thank you for your views and I respect the fact that you have a different viewpoint. I would be happy to meet anyone who wants to talk this through in more detail. Please contact my office if you wish to set up a meeting,” he said.

The results of the FOI request demonstrated that there are more permits in circulation now than ever before, breaking the previous 2008 record of 26,659 which was as a result of the massive post-Hurricane Ivan recovery boom in construction.

The number of Jamaican workers in Cayman is also higher today than during that construction boom and the local workforce is now made up of people from 130 countries.

The number of workers from the Philippines is currently outstripping workers from Britain, Canada and the US, with almost 4,000 permit holders from that Southeast Asian country.

The quickest growing demographic is from India, largely as a result of the health professionals now working at Health City Cayman Islands, but also fuelled by the hospitality sector. At the end of last year, 1,301 people from India were here on work permits, a 40% increase in just two years.

The large number of permit holders already shows that the workforce is dominated by foreign workers, but with nearly 5,000 people working while they wait for permanent residency decisions and more than 4,000 people who already have PR, the workforce includes well over 30,000 expatriates.

Although the unemployment rate is at its lowest for over ten years, at less than 5% for local workers, there are still significant concerns that many Caymanians are under-employed, in jobs they are over-qualified for or, the biggest challenge of all, in low-paid work.

This is particularly acute at a time when inflation is running at around 5%, compounded by the ever-increasing cost of rents, with prices pushed up by the Airbnb market. This also creates a shortage of affordable homes for locals and expatriates on low incomes, forcing people into overcrowded accommodation.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Would love to see more part-time opportunities available for young Caymanians. As the cost of living rises there should be more opportunities to generate income. Whether it be hospitality or other industries. I do believe many young Caymanians including myself want to work hard to earn the extra. Some of us are definitely no lazy or entitled. One salary isn’t enough anymore. I’m sure they will be some idiot that will comment that we should live within our means and not overreach to purchase what we cannot afford but that’s not always the case.

    • Anonymous says:

      The health care and pension requirements make hiring part time staff very challenging for employers, especially small businesses.

      I would love to add a few more part time employees, but I simply cannot afford to pay the health care requirements. It is cheaper to pay the overtime to existing staff. So, Caymanians loose out on valuable job experience, employers lose out on staffing flexibility, and no one benefits.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Roper, there is not enough room in the entire G A Building to hold all the disgruntled Caymanians, but thanks for the offer. I realized from your visit on Rooster that you have already made up your mind that what the government is doing with the cruise birthing facilities is ” great” so I do believe that coming to see you will only be an exercise in futility on any other subject. I give up my seat to someone else.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Instead of inviting interested persons to “make an appointment” to see him at his office, The Governor should arrange public meetings to host whoever in the general public would like to discuss this matter. He knows that by-and-large individuals will not make personal appointments to see him, and indeed, what benefit is a trickle of individuals when this is a national problem??

    As long as our Governments keep using work permit fees as general revenue-enhancing measures Caymanians will be left out of the workforce – until it’s tooo late and disgruntled young people start targeting foreigners!

  4. No more mudbloods please says:

    No Roper, it’s not diversity it’s colonialism.

    CNS: Just checking that you understand the reference to a popular series of children’s books in your username. JK Rowling invented the word “mudblood” not to denigrate wizards and witches who did not come from established wizarding families but to highlight the vile racism of people who use the word.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just checking CNS understands I don’t give two cents. So what? I quoted a childrens movie.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I want to talk to the last governer. Lets sit down with him and have a few words

  6. Anonymous says:

    Communities naturally take on the characteristics and culture (looks, sounds, smells etc) of its residents.

    The rapid increase of our permanent population over the last few decades and the large numbers of status grants and permanent residency grants to foreign expats have obviusly changed our local culture quite dramatically. Locals have adjusted remarkably well considering.

    The huge work permit numbers in play today are a significant additional impact on the changing situation and Caymanians are no doubt becoming less and less the dominant culture in these Beloved Cayman Islands.

    Actually, I do not think that Caymanians are the primary culture here any longer.

    • Anonymous says:

      They are not. The predominant culture is Jamaican, and most other expats mistake their culture as being Caymanian.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mostly rubbish comments

      A wise man once reminded me that work permit holders do not take job from Caymanians. Employers who are 90% Caymanian decide to pay an enormous work permit fee as either they don’t want a Caymanian or they can’t find one.

      So Caymanians control their destiny. Get up go to work, improve your education, be willing to start at the bottom and work your way to the top.

      I am not aware of one Caymanian who has done the above and is not working.

      To the few persons who complain. Answer me this question. How many sick days you had this year?

      • Alison groves says:

        So 90% of all the businesses are controlled by caymanians ?

      • Anonymous says:

        Self serving diatribe of a permit holder. Btw not wanting to hire a Caymanian as you like the indentured nature of a permit is not legal you moron. Go home

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      Anonymous 8:05pm, while you make many valid points and I agree with you.
      The Caymaians are being out numbered , what are going to be the outcome of that situation ? Shouldn’t that be taken inconcideration and addressed ? What would something like that cause in the future ? I have seen many people sit down and take so much but when they had enough and see no way out , and their behaviors changes and sometimes they go to extreme measures to handle the situation .

    • Anonymous says:

      Merit-based status grants, earned over decades of sweat, investment, and sustained contribution, have indeed irreversibly altered the cultural fabric of what it means to be Caymanian. For the better, in my opinion. Most of our politicians continue to ignore the growing electoral power, more cosmopolitan interests, and liberal values/expectations of this audience, at their peril. Among a multitude of abuses, suspending the lawful path to citizenship (for years) was a serious political blunder that won’t be soon forgotten by those that persevered.

  7. Ron Ebanks says:

    I think that the issue at hand is very complicated and needs to be methodically looked at before making decisions on the solution. There are so many variations that the Governor needs to see and understand before he can fix the problems within .
    Like why aren’t Caymanians not getting the jobs ? Why they are qualified to do the job but still don’t get it . There are so many reasons that he must understand them all .

    This is where some Caymanians that understand all about this topic to take the Governor up on his offer of a sit down meeting . Young Caymanians if you care about Cayman and Caymanians here is your opportunity to shine like a Rock Star . When you’re finished with this one , contact me I have another one that would make you shine like the sun….

  8. Anonymous says:

    And what will the Governor do? And where is the minister of immigration & labour? Now Alden is one that should be meeting with the public?

    CNS: A further analysis should be done of this article….. of all those that are on permits how many earn under $10 CI per hour? Or worse how many earn less than minimum wage? Are any of those persons doing jobs that unemployed Caymanian sit jobless (registered with WORC), underemployed or getting help from NAU that could be working?

  9. Anonymous says:

    You get the job you deserve.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Good for you to mention airbandb CNS. I hope everyone realizes that although the very foundation of Caymans systems is reasonable control on the foreign ownership of businesses, and no expat can normally rent out more than 2 properties, airbandb properties are governed by the Tourism Law. That law does not care about Caymanian ownership. In consequence foreign nationals can buy and rent out as many properties as they like with no restrictions. Indeed we even rewarded someone for doing something like this, with a cabinet status grant. Caymanians are being driven out east and are being priced out of participation in the miracle. Well done Alden and Mac.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Cayman needs to pay caymanians more than the expats for blue color jobs like other countries do. And make the work permits fees real high, so the work permit fees and the lower wages added together for expats blue color jobs will be just as high or higher than the higher wages for Caymanian blue color workers

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you mean ‘blue collar’?

      It’s not always about ‘colour’ – ‘color’ Is American and should never be used here.

      • Anonymous says:

        8:04 am, that s a mistake of blue color, instead it meant to be blue collar. I wonder if you ever made a mistake.

    • Anonymous says:

      Which other countries do this?

      • Anonymous says:

        All the middle east countries and even U S A pays the central americans less to pick crops.

  12. Anonymous says:

    What can Roper do?
    He is on an extended Holiday. Meeting, greeting, exploring, and Twittering his vacation photos.

    • Just delighted says:

      Delighted to attend *free event* at *organisation*. Lovely to see all the *happy children/dedicated volunteers/turtle hatchlings*. Particularly liked the *not even slightly edgy thing*. A great day for all!

      Below: four low quality smartphone photos.

  13. Anonymous says:

    How about checking small businesses and the amount of Work Permits they obtain for, you know, folks from Ja who pay dearly then disappear on the island, making babies, too.
    Quite a lucrative business, going on for many years.
    EE needs an MLA

    • Anonymous says:

      I am a small business owner, and have no work permits. It is difficult to get a permit for retail, and I have found that there are plenty of competent, hard working Caymanians, so why would I go through the headache of hiring an expat?

      Biggest problem is having to pay all the entitlements. I.e. the heath care, and holiday pay. I cannot hire someone for an occasional Saturday shift, or to cover vacations when I have to pay 10 sick days, holiday pay, and $80 a month in health insurance, and 8 hours for every dang holiday.

      I have read the Labour Law pdf, and it was unclear to me if I had to pay part time employees for public holidays. So I called the Labour Board. They said yes I have to pay part time employees for public holidays, even if they would never have worked them due to their schedule. So, I no longer have part time employees.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Roper, your Excellency, thank you for your interest. I take you at your word and look forward to you looking behind the curtains that are held up to cover a multitude of issues.

    Please consider this:

    In 2018 the Cayman Islands Government told us that at the end of 2017 the population was 63,415 of which 35,878 were Caymanian. That would mean that the Government estimated 27,537 were expatriates.

    The Compass now reports that at the start of this year there were 27,263 work permit holders. Those are all expatriates living and working in the Cayman Islands.

    On top of that there are another 4,000 or so spouses of Caymanians and Permanent Residents (all also expatriates) living and working in the Cayman Islands.

    Even if the number of Caymanians has not grown since the end of 2017 that would put the population of working expatriates and all Caymanians at around 67,141 – but that is without counting any non working expatriates. There are several thousand. They include expatriate dependent spouses, parents, grandparents and children, retirees, and numerous other categories.

    This places the population above 75,000. Yet the Government has been telling us it is only around 65,000.

    This is a fundamental issue and should be hard to get wrong by such a large amount. Is reliance on the wrong numbers partly responsible for overcrowding on roads and in schools, failing garbage collection, and a shortage of housing?

    Are we being told the whole truth by our Government? Something simply does not add up.

    What is going on?

    • Anonymous says:

      Clearest confirmation of bad governance there is. The government seems to have no clue what is really going on, and lies to keep that fact hidden.

      • Anonymous says:

        Or they know exactly what is going on, and lie to keep that hidden.

        Either way, we are screwed.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I thought Governor Roper said on Cross Talk he is not and will get directly involved matters outside of his remit as Governor of the Caymans which are Good Governance and Security issues.

    Make up your mind sir. If you are saying that you will be talking to frustrated Caymanians and can bring about positive results and necessary changes in the system to help Caymanians that is great.

    This way we can bypass the MLA’s who pass laws but fail to enforce them as the situation or special interests directions them.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Add this to the fact that property prices and construction costs are increasing substantially along with higher bank interest rates but wages/salaries remain static. Slowly but surely getting priced out of our own country.

    • Anonymous says:

      Construction costs may be increasing but not the amounts paid to contractors or wages paid to workers. The big dollar developers are taking it in along with the bureaucrats at government.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Ja Rule everyting. HA HA HA, you never had it and you never will.

    Crisp and clean and no caffeine in my jamaican tea…

    • Anonymous says:

      I wouldn’t be so anxious to show such ignorance, judging from headlines of the gleaner and observer daily, things are not looking so good either on your end. Remember chap, 60 years and counting of independence and even today still it seems like your best years are behind you. ( and the queen is still the head of state btw)

  18. Anonymous says:

    Only selfishness and laziness lead to a “prison/poverty” cycle. These apologists for criminals should be ashamed. And there is so much opportunity in Cayman only the truly mediocre and self-pitying have anything to main about. These people appal me.

    • Anonymous says:

      They really apple me too!

      • Anonymous says:

        Recently having a drink and got talking to the guy next to me. He and his family (with a young child) moved to Cayman 4 months ago and whilst they love it, found it really expensive. No surprise there.

        When I asked him what he did for a living, said he was a pool cleaner. Yes folks that was what he was here on a permit for. Yes, pool cleaner on a 2 year work permit but hoping to stay longer as they were buying an apartment in South Sound.

        The above says it all. This PPM-led government needs to go!

      • Anonymous says:

        Orange you glad you got that off your chest?

  19. Anonymous says:

    By allowing these people hear on permits to search their own work is killing the smaller legit contractors but at the end of the day it is the pure greedy developers who want everything done cheap so by eliminating a contractor they figure they can get these people to do the jobs for whatever they want to pay them. Since there are no more job site checks by immigration, these illegals are just free to do whatever they wish.
    As for the Gov, he is just trying to smooth over people but nothing will come from it because he is not the boss.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Excellent reporting CNS. Thank you for keeping your finger on the pulse of what’s really flowing through the hearts and minds of our multi-generational Caymanian people.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Jamaican’s are not hindering the opportunities of Caymanians in this country. Jamaican’s here are mostly laborers i.e. construction workers, gardeners, plumbers, domestic helpers, janitors etc. then there are the bit that are teachers, doctors, lawyers, nurses, accountants etc… but the laborers far outweigh the educated Jamaican’s. Caymanian’s either do not want the jobs of laborers I listed or they are not educated/qualified to do the more prominent jobs. Facts and I am Caymanian.

    • Anonymous says:

      They may have a permit for the various skill sets you mentioned but the problem is they are allowed to run all around grabbing up whatever work they can hustle up (they call it a roast) thus jobs which would have gone to local contractors are now being done by gardeners, car washers, etc. They do not have to pay any business license, insurances or any other statuary requirements which are being heaped on small business left & right by the unity team government. Case in point was the builders law which is now just being dismantled piece by piece. The hell with it as Cayman is a wild wide open place now but once CHEC gets in here then you will see a huge influx of cheap Chinese labor.

      • Anonymous says:

        How is it a negative if they have the hustler mentality and willing to do jobs out of their realms to survive and get by that locals do not want to do? Caymanian’s should follow suit and do what needs to be done to be the face of our country. All expats are here for a better life, not just Jamaican’s. The roast as you said, isn’t applicable to Jamaican’s alone. I know of many Filipinos in particular who are doing jobs they are over and under qualified to do because they are hustlers as well. At the end of the day, Jamaican’s aren’t holding Caymanians hostage to take out work permits for them. We are our own worst enemy. We don’t want certain things but vex about the next man who wants it and will sacrifice for it. Kinda like a woman who doesn’t want their man but doesn’t want anyone else to have him. They don’t want us because they know we don’t want certain jobs so they hire who will hustle and do the work for crumbs. To many of us it’s crumbs but to them it goes a long way back home.

        • Anonymous says:

          9:23 Some Jamaicans pay passage for Work Permits which are phony and numerous, taken out on small or defunct businesses as well. Then they disappear on the island, begging work, hooking up and making babies. Immigration has no checks and balances on the amounts of Work Permits according to businesses. Why not?

    • Anonymous says:

      …says a Jaybird…

    • L.D. says:

      Jamaicans know how to get out of bed. 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      Ummmm, how does any Caymanian school leaver get an entry level job of all entry level jobs are taken by foreign nationals who do not claim overtime, health insurance or even need pensions for the first 9 months?

      No one will hire a 16 year old kid whose employment costs more than a tried and tested 10 year experienced foreign national.

      No kid that gets lucky will bust a gut to get ahead if the manager position also only pays 6 an hour.

      You guys understanding what is really happening yet?

      • Anonymous says:

        By in large you are correct. But, there are some pro Caymanian employers. Foster’s comes to mind, Kirk Freeport, Sterling & Stone, Cost U Less, Butterfield, I am sure there are many more.

        It is just that many pro Caymanian employers are also employers with low staff turn over. So, it may be harder to secure initial employment with them, as they have fewer vacancies.

    • Anonymous says:

      pure facts, the pride of not working for 8 dollars an hour with a high school diploma and that’s it type of Caymanians.

  22. Levon Montero-Bodden says:

    CNS how does one be able to visit with the governor?

    Is there a registration, number or e-mail contact?

    Please let us know so we can follow procedure and take him up on this opportunity.

    Thank You.

    CNS: According to the governor on his FB page, the email for his office is

    • Anonymous says:

      No Governor can solve this situation, the time y’all spend trying to talk to the Gov. you should spend trying to qualify and certify!
      When we stop hiding behind the real fact why expats. are the preferred employees
      and its not cheap labour, then we wont need to bother the Governor.

  23. Anonymous says:

    We all know the reality of the situation. Cayman, unfortunately, has become a welfare state. Government schools have a required pass rate – even if children are literally failing their classes they still get pushed through to the next grade. Upon graduation, they have no employment opportunities since they were not given the necessary foundation to be a functioning member of the workforce. Young adults and teens keep breeding like rabbits and cannot take care of themselves, let alone properly raise their children. And the cycle continues. The number of government workers keeps increasing in order to employ people that cannot get jobs in the private sector because of the reasons listed above. It’s a shame that Cayman is its own worst enemy. Pointing fingers at the expat population isn’t the solution – raising the bar for education standards is.

  24. V says:

    A few comments:

    Michael Myles, a former member of the education department and a leading commentator of the many social ills in Cayman that are leading to the prison-poverty cycle, pointed to problems that have arisen from the dramatic increase in work permits, which did not reflect success for local people.

    Correlation does not imply causation. In this case there is a multivariate reason for not all enjoying in the success. However Mr. Myles elects to omit the real reasons for this. Simply pandering? Or something coming up for him around the corner?

    Mario Rankin questioned who was enjoying success and said the governor had not been in Cayman long enough to make such a comment and that he had been “fed a scrip to read”.

    Talk about someone who has enjoyed all the island has had to offer.

  25. Anonymous says:

    People, I know you must feel really frustrated to learn that there are allegedly 27,000No. Expats holding work permits on this island. However, why do you think that is?…’s because Caymanians are either under qualified, unreliable or down right lazy and not interested in doing a good days work for their money……hence the number of home grown criminals. I have seen, and worked with local people on this island that play around all day instead of doing the work they are highly paid, or paid accordingly for. Granted, they are not all like that, I know many Caymanians that are very conscientious workers but there are a lot that aren’t. The employers both Caymanian and expat issue jobs to prospective employees not the Government. They have to consider the qualifications and individual work ethic together with attitude before employing due to the high cost involved.

    • Anonymous says:

      It starts with the clowns in the LA unqualified for the leadership role fattening their own pockets and currying favors with the their sponsors and their masters corporate cayman.

    • CaymanianChurchill says:

      This situation is complex with many contributing factors.

      One overarching factor is the poor quality of public education for the past 20-25years.

      Elected officials and Senior Civil servants sent their children to private school BUT DID NOTHING to fix the public education system.

      1996-2000 Min Truman Bodden (Prep), CO Joy Basdeo (Prep)
      2000-2005. Min Roy Bodden (?), CO Joy Basdeo (Prep)
      2005-2009 Min Alden McLaughlin (Prep), CO Angela Martins (Catholic)
      2009-2013. Min Rolston Anglin( Grace then Prep), CO Mary Rodrigues (Prep)
      2013-2017. Min Tara Rivers (Montessori by the Sea) Christen Suckoo (Baptist)
      2017- Min Julianna O’Connor, Christen/Cetonya

      In fact the same politicians and civil servants denied there was anything wrong and refused to provide the required resources to deal with students who needed support, special education services or other types of help. Poor Caymanians who couldn’t and can’t afford private school or to go off island are SCREWED.

      These people responsible for providing effective education and training SHAFTED Caymanians. They pretended globalization and technology were not going to affect Cayman. They misled locals about what standards needed to be achieved to be competitive in the workplace. They told people “don’t worry, call me and I’ll sort it out” when it came to jobs.

      At the same time they were giving away status (it wasn’t just McKeeva; Kurt and Alden had dozens of names on the list too) and pumping out new Permanent Residents from countries with better education systems and with leaders honest enough to tell them the truth.

      With Legge giving voice to the expat contempt and superiority, the cultural tide shifted and expats became vocal and open about their discrimination. They felt justified.

      The MOST ENTITLED Caymanians are the NEW Caymanians. Ask Immigration.

      Caymanians REJECT the cheap political rhetoric. Demand practical solutions. Demand new immigration policies. Demand technical training for good entry level and mid level jobs in healthcare, environmental management, technology, accounting, aesthetics, hospitality, administration and building maintenance.

      Demand adult training and re-skilling. Don’t settle for the taxi driver and water sports jobs. The Government brags its flush with cash. Make them PAY to retrain the MISLED generation.

      Caymanians, don’t give up. Don’t surrender your country. Don’t shrink in shame. Don’t move away. Stand loud and proud. Vote them out.




  26. Anonymous says:

    Right and what the hell is he going to do about it. He is just a symbol of the UK, no balls to stand up for LGBT rights or any other important issue. Caymanians got sold out back in 2004. We all know who we can thank for that right????

  27. Anonymous says:

    What is the governor gonna do when our government won’t even enforce the regulations? Aldart has shown he cares more about work permit revenues and appeasing his benefactor than the job security of his own people. WORC as many predicted ended up a big nothing.

  28. Anonymous says:

    WORC hasn’t done much except perhaps streamlned the process to circumvent the regulations.

    • OMG says:

      WORC has done it’s best – appointing yet more directors , deputy directors and other executive positions all for Caymanians as does the CIAA, CAA, Port Authority, Maritime Authority, NRA, Ofreg, to name a few, all at inflated salaries.

  29. Anonymous says:

    CNS – you can add at least 10,000 expatriate dependants (children/spouses etc.) to the expatriates in the workforce. Salaries are being driven down and the Cayman miracle is about to serve only a small number of oligarchs (mostly from overseas) as the crumbs for Caymanians lessen and are fought over by more. I hope that Roper is able to hear the alternative script. He has been served nothing but government kool-aid since he got here. I look forward to him sampling some swanky.

    • Anonymous says:

      True True True !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Caymanian can’t survive on $6 an hour.

      That $6 is like hundred in Jamaica, Philippines, dr, Honduras.

      any we choose to import people from some of the poorest countries and wonder why crime is out of control?

      • Tom says:

        90% prisoners in prison are Caymanians…

      • Anonymous says:

        You have no choice as your own people do not want to do certain jobs no matter what you say. Cleaning homes, cutting grass, building homes, serving food, cooking food, cleaning cars etc. are far from top of the list jobs Caymanian’s want to do, or shall I say, willing to do. The cheap labor comes in because Caymanian’s do not want these jobs. If you are going to sing this tune continuously blaming foreigners for your job market situation, at least be all the way honest.

      • BeaumontZodecloun says:

        You outline what is, in my opinion, the crux of the problem. Some expats will live small here in order to bank their money, and win via the exchange rate with their native country. Work a few years, go home and build a house.

        I believe we need to raise the minimum wage to a living wage that Caymanians can live on. A single person can live small and get by. Yes, raising the minimum wage means higher costs for all of us for goods and services, but it is the right thing to do.

        There was a time not too long ago when most of the store clerks, the hospitality workers, etc. were Caymanian. We — as a people — (I’m generalising) grew too comfortable, and Caymanian employers discovered that they could hire cheaper labour from abroad, PLUS those expat employees were more subservient. They desperately needed their jobs and did whatever they needed to in order to keep them until it was time for them to go home.

        We MUST do better for ourselves. Expats are not the enemy, nor are the business owners who hire them. Our system is the enemy. I think we must bite the bullet(s), raise the minimum wage to, say, $10 or $12.00/hour with benefits. I think we’d see far less work permits and more Caymanians that were able to fund their lives, eventually buy/build their houses and live as we were meant to.

        • Anonymous says:

          Lol they maybe building homes, but no one is going back home unless they have to ! Get your head out of the sand.

          • Anonymous says:

            Yes 9.39pm :.. and Government made the mess so Government must send these people out of here… not let’s wait until it’s a disaster like the iguanas – this will be detrimental to us.

        • Anonymous says:

          4:36 don’t forget you will be raising for the Epats!

        • Anonymous says:

          The problem is still the mindset, over raising minimum wage. Half a loaf of bread is better than none. If you have no job, no income yet Foster’s is willing to give you a cashier job at minimum wage why not take it, if you desperately want to work and support yourself? Or because you will still struggle on the minimum wage salary from Fosters, you decline all together and proceed to NAU?? It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. Good work ethic, positive mindset, and a willingness to learn can take you up the ladder for those not seeking higher education. It appears many want to be bank managers right out of high school.

          • Anonymous says:

            9:31 am, you are 100% right all the way

          • Anonymous says:

            So you go to Fosters and work all day for $6.00 and hour, and meanwhile you pay a helper $6.00 an hour to take care of your kid (or a similar amount for daycare) and pay the bus fare to get to and from work.

            The reality faced by many is crushing.

            Funny math in your world.

          • Anonymous says:

            9.31am – I see your point, however, if a Caymanian is going to have a decent life in their own country they cannot live The way a lot of these expats do, I.e, the living conditions in order to survive is not that good.. in a nut shell we Caymanians have a family and are working our plan for our future. On the other hand they live together in large numbers (with no family – mainly no children), and send every penny that the can to their homeland .. … it takes no genius to figure out what’s going on. NO way the can live here and send out the amount of cash that is leaving daily. They are using and exploiting Cayman.. they Learn very quickly how to do the tricks.

        • Anonymous says:

          4.36pm ….you are exactly correct ….. and STOP handing out Status and P.R.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think what we need is for those people to teach us how to live on the $6 an hour, they are also living in here.

      • Anonymous says:

        Except that they live and survive here working for $6 an hour….

        • Anonymous says:

          Not true. Many have undeclared other sources of income, live unlawfully four to a room, and do not have families to support locally.

        • Anonymous says:

          9.32am… I don’t think they are surviving on $6.00 an hour – impossible. They are exploiting These island. We just cannot continue on this trend. Sorry it not a melting pot any more it’s a “pressure cooker” misinformed Governor.

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