Petroleum retailers in the country foreshadow layoffs in the new year due to rising operations costs.
Vice President of the Bahamas Petroleum Dealers Association, Vasco Bastian says the minimum wage increase from $210 per week to $260 per week will lead to survival issues. “We’re going from $210 a week to $260 and that’s a 24% increase automatically will go to our operational costs however, our fixed margin is still fifty four cents. And so, there’s not even no where that we could even pass that on to the consumers or try and figure out how we could tweak our model to absorb a 24% increase when you have a minimum wage implementation such as what’s going to happen come January 1.”
Bastian went on to say, “we have to now look at cutting staff at gas stations in The Bahamas. We have to do it. It was never on the table before but we now have to look at that. and we have to start to educate the consumers in The Bahamas about doing self service. They do it when they go to Florida and the United States and Canada all the time. We have to start now to train the Bahamian people that they might have to come January 1 some out their cars and assist dealers by serving themselves.”
According to Bastian layoffs could hit at least 25%.