Has Michael Pemberton Issued A Warning To The Government Of Barbados?

Michael Pemberton and Robin Paterson, executive directors of developers Cinnamon 88, told the SUNDAY SUN the delay in starting the four seasons project was costing millions of dollars. Pemberton said while the resort needed a minimum of 200 workers to have a viable start, by December they would need 500, and then 800 at the peak of construction mid-next year.


“We are all frustrated. We can’t start those who want to work because we have to start everyone at the same time.” He said the delays were resulting in bad publicity for Barbados, and eroding the confidence of Four Seasons in setting up a brand here.

Source: Nation



Mike Pemberton from all reports is a man with a lot of money and he has significant investments in Barbados. His attempt to get the Four Seasons hotel project up an running, on the blighted former Butch Stewart owned property has been well documented. His recent PR gaff by going public that he intended to use Chinese labour has triggered a political melee which Pemberton has stated is the cause of his project being two months behind. It is no secret that the issue of immigrant labour (dealt with in many BU articles) for Barbadians is one which causes emotions to spark. The Nation article reports that Robin Patterson, Pemberton’s partner confirmed that:-

“More than 50 per cent of the people who came for an interview are working here illegally. So I think Barbados has a problem in itself if it has a significant amount of immigrant workers working illegally in the construction industry.”

The Barbados government has been raked over the coals on how it has managed immigrant labor in Barbados. BU have even been accused of being xenophobic. If we take Patterson’s word that 50% of the applicants to the Four Seasons project have illegal status and according to the Nation report, Immigration officials were present at the recent job interviews, then it seems we have a problem. We have a construction industry which is currently booming and appear to be supported by a large illegal immigrant population. Regrettably, BU and Barbadians have been “hollering hard” that it is a situation which is unsustainable.


With a general election imminent the government of Barbados is now forced to play politics with a multi-million dollar project which is needed to improve the tourist product and which has been taking hit after hit in recent times. We can criticize Pemberton for his PR gaffs, we can criticize the lack of an alien investment policy, we can criticize many things; what we cannot deny is the large immigrant population which all indicators point to, reflects poorly on how our Immigration Department is managing our ports of entry into Barbados.

Our criticism is not meant to be anti-CSME or anti-foreign labor; it is what it has always been.  A concern that our open door immigration policy will create political and social pressures which will cause our beautiful little country to implode.

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22 thoughts on “Has Michael Pemberton Issued A Warning To The Government Of Barbados?

  1. These two Patterson and Pemberton are trying to behave like two bullies or two spoilt children, it will happen my way or not happen at all.
    Well I tell you what they need to be taught a lesson in humility and manners and that they cannot walk into another mans land and ride rough shod over its people like these have done, coupled with the fact that Owing has been bought by them and their money these two are on the top end of sly corrupt bastards that have created friction both locally and in the UK where they are both from, ask the former partners of Hamptons real estate and see what I mean.
    They have riled the population of this island with their callous act of flouting the law and allowing the Chinese to work without a work permit in place, they ought to have been charged and fined and the workers deported as was done with the Indians but no the two scamps get away with no penatly at all because of their personal relationship with Arthur where he permitted them to hire the Chinese, you ever noticed he never said a single word about the issue even as it was creating a storm in the island ?
    Why because he has been paid off by them to allow them to do as they like at the expense of us locals.
    The total and complete destruction of the terrain at Batts Rock every single tree uprooted and destroyed is an amazing feat aided and abbeted by Owing and TCP department, I would put any money on it had any lowly person applied to destroy one tree there they would have been denied bluntly.
    This is where the double standards come to the fore two sets of laws ones for the rich and laws for the poor, sadly many of we Barbadians fall into the poor grouping hence we get the shaft.
    These two have scamed Mr CO Willians and Mr Bizzy Williams to the core I wish them well after carrying out this feat actually they not only shafted the Williams brothers they have the gall to use Port St .Charles for docking their luxary 120 ft yacht (that surely the investors have bought for them ) the old people used to god don’t like wicked and wicked they are thats maybe why their yacht virtually sank outside of Port St.Charles on Friday morning !!
    I said on this site months ago that their plan was to employ over a thousand persons of which 600 were to be hired from China my words are still true and if you observe well the Chinese will sneek in almost unnoticed to eventually make the 600 as he refers to.
    What I need to know is what will Owing do about this crime before it gets out of hand or will he do anything at all ?
    Secondly we need to know what is the status of the remaining Chinese that were on location and working and have not been granted work permits have they been deported and never to be allowed to return ?

  2. This is why the Nation newspaper should only be used for wrapping fish entrails.

    Why didnot the Nation insist that Pemberton pay for that – Public Relations Advert.

    This tells us how these people ie – both the Nation and Pemberton -see us – as dumb morons.

    So o o o, once he comes and says he is behind schedule,and losing money and yadi – yada – then what – chineese must be allowed to come in?

    Look I think it is time we start marching and insist that the Prime Minister call elections now – enough is enough now.

    If we don’t people – this country is a gone -er.

  3. The Nation is the mouth piece for Owing and company and by extension the mouth piece for Patterson and Pemberton thes guys are con artist of another level and we the locals are being conned in no small way with this lot.
    The project is supposely two months behind hand and we are supposed to panic and release work permits nilly willy to pamper them well not if I had voice in it not one single Chinese work permit would get issued for them Bajans all the way, they want to make money out of Bajan soil well help make Bajans stronger in their own homeland and secondly the CARICOM region would be next in line for workers, while Owing talks CMSE he fails to carry out its plan or reasoning.

  4. The Nation News of Sunday August 19/07 printed some remarkable and no
    doubt paid for out of Pembertons pocket, propaganda about his Four
    Seasons Hotel project. And dealing with the illegal Chinese workers
    he brought in, along with assurances that some Big Time Entertainers
    and others in the USA have signed on to buy villas and the number of
    jobs his hotel will provide locals with when completed.

    Pemberton also used the occasion to let the reporter see the living
    conditions his illegal Chinese workers were working under and it was
    declared both the living and working conditions were within
    acceptable Barbados standards. It was even said that the Chinese have
    their own medical doctor and one wonders if Pemberton and the BLP
    Health Authorities made sure that this doctor is qualified according
    to Barbadian standards.

    In addition Pemberton has also suggested that within the next two
    years hundreds of Bajans will be employed at the Four Seasons. What
    he has not said or addressed is, was Sir Roys concerns cleared up
    about inferior steel being used in the construction process and has
    all of the illegal Chinese workers now been made to be compliant with
    Immigration, Health, Labour and other laws of Barbados.

    Another story of interest that caught my eye in the Business section
    of the same Newspaper was an article suggesting that many multi
    million dollar properties in Barbados was listed for sale on the
    World web. That did not itself seem unusual to me because multi
    million dollar properties are hardly going to be bought by local
    Barbadians. But here is what started sending off alarm bells for me
    and it was triggered by information a local Barbadian shared with me,
    albeit speculative that many foreigners are trying to divest
    themselves of their real estate holdings there because of declining values!

    Foreigners I am told are becoming increasingly concerned over the
    deteriorating economic, social and political goings on in Barbados
    and many have become disillusioned about the direction the island is
    taking. And are complaining that with each passing year the lifestyle
    they once envisioned when first purchasing luxury homes there has not
    materialized and that crime is becoming a major problem for them.

    From my perspective I have to say there may be more to this
    hypothesis than most Barbadians realize and I will tell you why. If
    as Barbados is being advertised to be, a sought after destination for
    the rich and famous why is according to my sources is real estate
    agents seeing a sudden “spike” in the sell off of luxury properties
    many only bought within the last 3 to 5 years? I think that is a very
    good question and one that if answered honestly might have serious
    implications for the future of Barbados!

    I guess we will all have to wait and see what this developing trend means!

  5. Reporter, your observations are very interesting. FYI: It’s not just people with multi-million dollar homes who want out. Barbados simply looks progressive on the surface, but deep down it is stuck in outmoded ways of thinking and acting and the political process is a farce. The cost of living simply doesn’t balance out with the perceived value of life.

  6. The lying of Pemberton or the Immigration Dept. continues.

    It seems they refuse to stop digging the hole they are in.

    In the latest attempt to hoodwink bajans into believing everything is above board, the Nation descibes interviews at which members of the Immigration Dept. were present.

    Of the 55 interviewed 33 were hired.

    However Pemberton says over 50% of those interviewed were in Barbados illegally.

    So which lie are we to believe ?

    Either illegal applicants were offered a job with the complicity of Immigration Officers.

    Or Pemberton is not telling the truth to reinforce his case for 600 Chinese.

  7. I have said it before and continue to say it we have to crooks making arrangements with our leader who is also a know crook, what else can we expect ?
    These two are two of the best in the business they have mastered the art of using other peoples money while making their bed comfortable.
    Spend a few minutes to see what brought about Pemberton’s demise in Glitter Bay and Patterson’s in Hampton’s there are links with their actions there then and here now.

  8. I have said it before and continue to say it we have two crooks making arrangements with our leader who is also a know crook, what else can we expect ?
    These two are two of the best in the business they have mastered the art of using other peoples money while making their bed comfortable.
    Spend a few minutes to see what brought about Pemberton’s demise in Glitter Bay and Patterson’s in Hampton’s there are links with their actions there then and here now.

  9. These the same bajans that these investors are depriving us Bajans of these jobs, these Bajans will be the same ones that will be hungry and angry with the likes of these same investors and when unrest and hatred starts to manifest itself and social unrest gets hold of society.
    Where are they going to turn to for security of their multi million dollar investment ?
    Hopefully they will not turn to us Barbadians because if we were not good enough to be hired in the building surely we cannot be good enough for the kitchen, maid, security or for that matter for any other services.
    These two maybe running into issues with the overall project and they are now passing the pressures onto us the taxpayers of this island with this hype and nonsense about needing the 600 Chinese workers onsite if not the project will not fly what a load of crap, let me see them move the land and take to St.Lucia or where ever else they can con and buy the Prime Minister.
    Should this be the reality maybe they should be forced to restore the area to what it was before they raped it and they should be made to replant the trees that once covered the landscape of Paradise.
    Maybe these investor should consider renaming the property ohgodmemakemistake or China Village.

  10. I know a “foreigner” working on a construction site …….legally but guess what??? In his opinion Barbadians are some of the laziest people he has ever come across in the world!! Jacks of all trades, Masters of none! Interested only in the pay packet for women and rum….. go figure……

  11. Most foreigners have nothing say about us Bajans anyway.Tell them that we will not work under the conditions they do.We are in fact skilled ,educated too,also we know the labour laws,know how overtime is calculated,how much sick days we are entitled to….. We are not ignorant.So if this knowledge makes us seem lazy because we refuse to work like mules for 15 hours a day,or take our mandatory 1hr lunch break….well maybe it it because our forefathers fought hard for the benfits we enjoy.You tell them…we aint lazy…we know what we are worth.

  12. Jinx

    Yeah right we bajans lazy, so let us go to the foreigner’s country and see how his countrymen are rated in their own homeland.

    Their days are numbered in this country is all I will say – listen to the talk on the street – bajans are real close to boiling point yuh hear.

  13. I am one of those lazy bajan construction workers. I only work 40 hours a week and not a minute more. If I was paid my gross wages without NIS or PAYE dedutions they would have to beg me to go home. As a bajan the more you earn the more taxes you pay. It is just not worth it. Polictians have determined that they alone should have the best of everything and we (m)asses agree because we give them our x instead of our finger.

    Politicians only care about themselves; I wish I was a politician or a preacher working for a politician.

  14. Pam // March 5, 2008 at 7:41 am

    Does anyone know who the Architect of the Four Seasons was ?
    Maybe you can start here….
    Carney Architects, Architect of Design. HKS, Inc. Bilkey Llinas Design. Clausen-Chewning Interior Design … in Canada and U.S.A. and of Four Seasons Hotels (Barbados) Ltd.

  15. All o’ dis talk bout development in Barbados does mek me suh vex. I wish dese foreign investors would cah duh mess some place else. Duh messin up we Barbados. We as Bajans should stand up and help tuh stop all o’ dis development NOW!!!!!! Why don’t David Thompson do sumthing tuh STOP dis?????? Why not try tuh even knock down some resorts and condos??????? I swear I can wait till I become Prime Minister. I gin retain Barbados’s Beauty tuh what it once was. Wuh gine on wid Merricks I hope dem en still building de Hotel. Who is tuh blame fuh dese monstrosities, Owen Arthur???

    I LOVVVE Barbados!!!!!

  16. Pingback: The Other Side Of The Sam Lord’s Castle Matter « Barbados Underground

  17. Well well,
    2011 June 22nd.

    Pemberton has finally left Barbdos for good.
    He will not rip off anyone else here.
    Last week in London, he met up with some people who did not like him, Three broken bones is the result.

  18. What goes around, comes around.

    DD wonders if the contractor for the Sam Lords/Wyndham project, China National Complete Plant Import & Export Corporation, will be using the same Chinese workers as Cinnamon used.

    Same old – same old, ten years later.

  19. The more things change, the more they remain the same. Who are t he lawyers who work for these people? The immigration officers who dealt with their applications?

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