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Expat contractors overcharging locals to build - Hon Fahie

- calls for an emergency task force to tackle issues locals are currently experiencing
Following the hurricanes of September 2017 that left homes and businesses in shambles, the territory has seen an influx of skilled workers to assist in the rebuilding process. Photo: VINO/File
Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), Leader of the Opposition, has urged government to investigate and create an emergency task force to handle the problem of contractors who are raising the prices to build homes. Photo: VINO/File
Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), Leader of the Opposition, has urged government to investigate and create an emergency task force to handle the problem of contractors who are raising the prices to build homes. Photo: VINO/File
Persons throughout the territory are still trying to rebuild following the destruction of Hurricane Irma on September 6, 2017. Photo:VINO/File
Persons throughout the territory are still trying to rebuild following the destruction of Hurricane Irma on September 6, 2017. Photo:VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - “Those persons who are here on work permit that are now charging outside the norm, whether it be $100 a day for a labourer, they now want to charge a lot more. I say we go and see how much was put in for their work permit, see who they are working under.”

This is according to Honourable Andrew A. Fahie, Leader of the Opposition and First District Representative, who urged the government to investigate and create an emergency task force to handle the problem of contractors who are raising the prices to rebuild homes.

Following the hurricanes of September 2017 that left homes and businesses in a state of destruction, the territory has seen an influx of skilled workers to assist in the rebuilding process.

Hon Fahie further mentioned that the individuals that are on work permit in the territory are doubling their prices for labour and strongly believes that it is wrong for them to do that to the people of the territory, especially after going through such a devastating hurricane last year.

He explained, “If they are still working under that person hold them because they are robbing our people. We have a lot of people that put in money to the insurance company with a bid and when they put in the bid is one thing with the contractor and by the time they ready to build, the fees and the labour costs have increased exponentially and they cannot move forward.”

The First District Representative continued, “… it’s nothing against anybody who not from here, so I don’t want that to be misunderstood, but I have to look out for my people.”

Proposal for adjuster too late

Meanwhile, the Opposition Leader indicated that following the hurricanes of September 2017, he had suggested that the government hire an adjuster for the people to make complaints on their insurance payout but added that it was too late when they actually got the adjuster.

He said, “The tribunal is there doing their best but it don’t have any teeth and that came long after I asked to get an adjuster hired on behalf of the people for those getting their checks early,” but added that by time the tribunal was in place persons had already settled with their insurance companies.

Hon Fahie described the government of the day as not having good leadership when they do not act swiftly when it comes to the people of the territory.

He said, “We keep putting in things when the people on life support or the life support is no use to them. That’s not leadership.”

23 Responses to “Expat contractors overcharging locals to build - Hon Fahie”

  • wize up (10/05/2018, 11:32) Like (16) Dislike (10) Reply
    who double check these people credentials: any persons can run up in here claiming their are rocket scientists and poor we falls for it: the place has become so lawless it ain’t funny.....
    • Di (10/05/2018, 17:05) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      @wize up

      I agree with your statement. Hired a contractor who sent some to work on my home, notice every time he assign at task to two they would ask the others how to do it. Found out later they never did a stroke of work in construction a day in the life. They were just cleaners in the home country. Heard about all the money to be made up here so they came pretending to be tradesmen. Really dishonest, trying to give a six for a nine. Wonder how may more out there doing the same thing.
      • wize up (10/05/2018, 18:47) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
        @ DI: who the blame and I will simply say our administrators(the easy at which some folks can do what they want in this territory is mind blowing)....when you speak on these matters some among we get pissing mad but non of us can leave BVI and not comply with the regulations in other jurisdictions....
  • 123 (10/05/2018, 12:02) Like (14) Dislike (13) Reply
    send them home
  • ABC (10/05/2018, 12:34) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Get estimates from 3+ contractors.

    When ready to re-build or repair, the price for the job(s) should be agreed with the contractor and the agreement should state any cost overruns are the responsibility of the contractor but he must finish the job(s) at the price agreed.

    Negotiate well and ensure the price is within your budget and the amount received from insurance. Also, have an amount put aside from insurance for unexpected costs.
  • Worker (10/05/2018, 13:07) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    The price of everything is increasing and no one to protect consumers so pays have to go up for everyone especially construction workers. Check the price of materials, especially steel price now in the BVI! Work permit increased etc etc .poor Ppl expenditures is now more higher than their income. What can workers do but ask for raid of pay.
  • Expat (10/05/2018, 13:17) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    It have workers that leave their lawful employer to go and work for more $ than what is on their work permit and the boss need them to work but they leave anyways. It’s not always the contractors fault but some of the ppl are offering to pay workers more money.
    • wize up (10/05/2018, 13:44) Like (3) Dislike (6) Reply
      @ expat: so are implying while you on a permit to work you can simply move from on job to another(what ah ting)
  • Round world (10/05/2018, 13:44) Like (37) Dislike (3) Reply
    I never saw 0an article saying "expats being overcharged for work permits and VISA. Don't bawl now. Look how long the employers taking out people NHI and Social Security from employees pay and not submitting it. Not a soul studying that, because the employers are locals. when you get sick you can't get a dime because the employers not paying. Not one government official speaking out about that. Now Fahie here bawling. Its yal time to bawl. The world round. All the overcharged rent money yal tek from we, use it now to pay them contractors. What goes around comes around.
    • Citizen (10/05/2018, 14:47) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
      Amen! and well said... nothing to add.
    • Pay don't bawl. (10/05/2018, 17:22) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      My recommendation/ solution is simple. Pay whatever you have to pay even if it bend you outta shape. When they come looking place to rent, increase your rent and remind them how much you pay to repair. Simple as that! One thing drives another.
  • So glad (10/05/2018, 14:37) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    The people that rebuild my home is local. We all grew up in the same village and they give me a good deal.
    • Pray tell (10/05/2018, 17:27) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Spread the word and put their info out there. We need decent people to rebuild at reasonable rates.
  • Political Observer (PO) (10/05/2018, 17:05) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ok. Let’s step back and take pause. Generally, anything time demand outpaces supply there is often a tendency to exploit the situation, charge above normal market prices. The decimation by 2 Cat 5 hurricane increase the demand for skilled construction workers; there is a shortage of skilled construction workers in the VI. Hurricane aside, this situation has been a long time coming. Construction work is not a strong preference for most Virgin Islanders. They prefer administrative work in an air conditioned work setting; someone fallaciously told us that there is a stigma in working outdoors with our hands. As a result, a high percentage of local construction workers are expats. No doubt, the work needs to be done and someone needs to do it. Here is a news flash. One cannot become an electrician, plumbing, carpenter, mason........etc in 6 weeks. In addition to education, one needs hundreds or even thousands of documented apprentice hours before he/she can even sit for licensing.

    True, in some sectors, collusion do exist. Strict and costly legislation should be put in place to discourage collusion and price gouging. Greed and circumstances sometime cause dececent people to act out of character. Sad.

    Moreover, collusion aside, customers should procure at least 3 bids. A word of caution is needed here. The low bid is not necessarily the best bid; a best value bid is often better. The consumer protection agency is vital to contract enforcement. Some components of a legal, binding contract include 1) offer, 2) acceptance, 3) consideration (there must be something of value provided by both contractor and customer), 4) writing, 5) competency and capacity.......etc. Consumers should boycott greedy contractors; with no business they will exit the scene stage left.
  • yoyo (10/05/2018, 18:38) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why cry! Then send them back home , build yourself!
  • Really? (11/05/2018, 18:11) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The NDP is accusing tradesmen of robbing the locals???? TOOO FUNNY!. The NDP have been robbing us for years. They are just mad that they are not getting the money to line their pockets.
  • Rubber Duck (11/05/2018, 18:39) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    All local builders are of course offering substantial discounts and free gifts as they are all Saints.
  • expat the bunny (11/05/2018, 20:12) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
    i'm an expat. here has a resident with no work rights. that has to be applied for independantly of the permission
    to reside in the bvi. i don't pretend to understand the complexity and corruption of who is allowed to earn money
    here if they are from another country. it is DAMN strange. a belonger once offerred to hire me to work on a house
    project as a laborer if i loaned him 20 dollars and bought a couple beers. that was a local from jvd. same time i
    see many people in bvi pouring in from dominican republic over these few years, just do what they want - rip people
    offf, sell whatever, and allowed to remain here. same with other 'protected' countries. sure americans are welcome
    here in whatever capacity - if they pay you know who enough bribery money. and people are imported in groups
    based on who from their country knows them and are here in advance. including honorary belongers who are not
    of this place. disgusting. hope a stray nuke comes here. cheers.
  • @rubber duck (12/05/2018, 08:48) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Surely you could obtain work as your name implies.
  • wow (15/05/2018, 21:44) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply

    They are no different them the government so. All the year u making the suffer. They wanna own a business here.them pay more for the trade license to pay high work premit and immigration takes 250 to extend time. Sit ur @&% down them finally find a way to win. Lol.. #$%^ you Lol..



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