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.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Jamaicans-fear-retribution-in-Turks-and-Caicos_60777