Airport staff strike over bad food and bad bonuses

Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) employees working at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) went on strike today over the low quality of food served at the staff cafeteria as well as cuts to the annual company bonus.

The protest began early this morning and continued until around noon. At around 10:30am, the managing director of the company arranged a meeting with a five member group representing staff, as well as with the CEO Ibrahim ‘Bandhu’ Saleem.

While the protesters estimated that approximately 250 – 300 employs were ready to go on full strike, the situation was resolved following the meeting after employees were assured that solutions would soon be found for all their concerns.

Speaking to Minivan News, one of the five staff negotiators said that the main two demands of the protesters were the improvement of the conditions of the staff restaurant ‘Beach Rest Cafe’, and the resumption of the annual company bonus for employees – which has been “discontinued for the past two years”.

When disbursed by India’s GMR – the previous company that managed the airport – some would receive a bonus of MVR1500 while others would receive as much as MVR30,000, said the staff negotiator.

“It started with the Beach Rest issue. Even today they served rotten curry. This has been going on for a while now. We cant eat the food they prepare,” he explained.

MACL Corporate Communications Manager Hassan Areef said that the situation was resolved shortly after negotiating with protesters.

“Beach Rest is not run by the company, but we will talk to them and address the issue immediately,” he said.

When asked about the company bonus, he said that information would be revealed on that as progress is made, but assured that the company would this issue also.

“When the situation was resolved the staff were happy, they went back to work immediately,” Areef said.

Ibrahim Rasheed, a protester who took part in the dialogue, said that staff were promised the cafeteria issue would be addressed immediately and that another cafeteria would be established within two or three months.

Another protester said that the CEO had assured them the annual bonus would also be arranged shortly.

“He said it will be arranged very soon – as soon as the ongoing audit is completed. We were told that the bonus will be even better than before,” he said.

According to MACL staff concerned about the bonus, the issue has been taken to senior management several times within the past two years without any response.

In 2010, the GMR Male International Airport Pvt Ltd (GMIAL) – a consortium of the Indian GMR Group (77%) and the Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad (23%) — was awarded a concession contract to manage the airport for a period of 25 years.

However, President Dr Mohamed Waheed’s government prematurely terminated the agreement and the airport was handed over to the 100% government owned MACL in December 2012.

GMR later filed a compensation claim of US$1.4 billion for “wrongful termination”.


5 thoughts on “Airport staff strike over bad food and bad bonuses”

  1. GMR had not given the bonus in their first year operation and these guys had go on strike to get it back.

    Why Minivan every time need to mentioned GMR issue ? I guess since MInivan is a propaganda machine of Nasheed , they have to do it.

    Then again, Airport staffs were given a food allowance and if they don't like the food in this cafe' then they can go and have their food else where and there are few other place like aqua.

    MACL had rented out the Beach Rest and i guess customers should protest and boycott this restaurant and then make a deal with Aqua . If no body goes there, the Beach rest will have to close .

    But I believe that there are few people who loyalist GMR and Nasheed and they are the people who are trying to initiate all these issues which are completely baseless.

    Nasheed could not stop MDP taking part in the upcoming election last night and he had failed in mobilizing his mobs on the roads and now trying airport staffs .

  2. Why Minivan news continues to bring the name of GMR into propaganda is perplexing considering the fact that GMR consortium has discontinued support and funding for MDP after the defeat in 2013 Polls.


    obviously ur some rich guy who dunno how things r for common Maldivians. beach rest is cheap staff cafe..aqua is expensive tourist cafe. it is macl responsibility to ensure the quality is maintained. even they acknowledged that. i dunno what ur problem is. only kaamineege ppl can complain? others should just listen and obey??

  4. GMR propaganda aside, all these people are asking for is to ensure that the food they are served is not rotten. These workers deserve nutritious meals at affordable prices.

    Anyone who claims restaurants in the airport such as Aqua, are a credible alternative clearly have no idea what their prices are like. To eat one square meal a day at those places , these workers would have to fork over close to half their salary.

    While MACL may not be directly managing the beach rest cafe they do owe their workers a responsibility to ensure the food served by the Beach Rest cafe is of a decent standard.

    Just because a service MACL should be providing has been contracted out does not mean that they can just sit back and claim that its beyond their control. When the cafe was contracted out MACL should have made sure that it would maintain a certain standard. MACL could have dealt with the failure to meet that standard by warning the beach rest cafe, and if warnings failed then by ending their arrangement with BRC and finding an alternative contractor.

    If the beach rest cafe continues to serve rotten food they should be shut down like Fantasy was shut down for serving items made from expired products. This is a public safety issue not just a workers rights issue.

  5. I hope the food & drugs authority gets into proactive mode and start carrying out regular inspections at Beach Rest Cafe'!


Comments are closed.