Jamaicans Fear Retribution In Turks And Caicos

THE Jamaican rep­u­ta­tion for being tough and fear­less when going after their goals, no mat­ter where in the world they are, seems to apply every­where else but the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI). A large num­ber of Jamaicans inter­viewed here speak force­ful­ly about the dis­crim­i­na­tion they are fac­ing from TCI author­i­ties. But with­out excep­tion, they asked not to be iden­ti­fied because of fear of ret­ri­bu­tion. “If you pub­lish my name this morn­ing, my work per­mit will be revoked by this evening,” said a Jamaican who left St Catherine three years ago to work in the thriv­ing real estate busi­ness in this British-run arch­i­pel­ago. “I’m obvi­ous­ly exag­ger­at­ing the speed, but you get the point. They might just decide not to renew my per­mit when it expires in less than a year’s time,” he said, insist­ing: “Remember not to call my name.”

Said anoth­er Jamaican who has been liv­ing for sev­en years in the TCI: “I try to keep on good terms with my TCI co-work­ers because they have a ten­den­cy of report­ing you to their Government, if you have a high­er posi­tion than them, that you are occu­py­ing a posi­tion that they are qual­i­fied for.

The thing that both­ers me is that those TCI peo­ple mak­ing the com­plaints don’t qual­i­fy for the posi­tions they are quar­relling about. They just don’t like to see a for­eign­er, espe­cial­ly a Jamaican, over them. They want to cut you down.

Others I have met have said the same thing. You bet­ter bet their author­i­ties will act on their com­plaints. I wish our author­i­ties in Jamaica were like that — act­ing on our com­plaints.”

Asked if she had made any com­plaints to the Jamaican author­i­ties, she said no, adding that she was unsure whether that would help and might only “expose me to reper­cus­sions here…The Jamaican con­sul here is well estab­lished in busi­ness and it might not be fair to ask him to jeop­ar­dise his wel­fare in the TCI.”

Several Jamaicans said their com­pa­tri­ots usu­al­ly stand out where they work because of a high­er work eth­ic, not­ing that some TCI cit­i­zens, or Belongers as they are called, don’t prove them­selves to be good work­ers.

Very often you see that as soon as they have some mon­ey they take off, many to the United States, and only return to work when the mon­ey is fin­ished. Employers pre­fer us Jamaicans because we are reli­able. We don’t give one-hour notice when we can’t make it to work and cause pres­sure to be on our co-work­ers,” said a Jamaican who lives in Grand Turk, the cap­i­tal. “We wouldn’t last long any­way.” Read more here: http://​www​.jamaicaob​serv​er​.com/​n​e​w​s​/​J​a​m​a​i​c​a​n​s​-​f​e​a​r​-​r​e​t​r​i​b​u​t​i​o​n​-​i​n​-​T​u​r​k​s​-​a​n​d​-​C​a​i​c​o​s​_​6​0​777