The Tourism Employees Association of Maldives (TEAM) has condemned a decision made by Alidhoo Resort to sack 12 staff members following a strike over unpaid salaries held last week.
On Thursday July 21 Maldivian staff working at the resort in Haa Alifu Atoll declared themselves on strike claiming that the management of the resort had not paid them salary for the previous month.
“It is almost the end of this month and Ramadan is coming up – we have to send money to our families back on the islands and we are really broke,” a staff member working in the resort told Minivan News at the time.
He claimed allowances of the staffs working in the resort had not been paid for the last three months, including service charge and overtime. He further claimed that expatriates working on the island had not received their salaries for three months, but feared for their jobs if they joined the strike action.
The management first told staff that the payments were delayed because the chairman of the company was not in the Maldives, he claimed.
“When he came back, they said the banks were not giving money to the resorts – how can we believe them now?” the staff member said.
The resort’s management dismissed 12 employees following the strike.
Alidhoo’s Human Resources Manager Ali Naseer told Minivan News that he did not have any information that a strike was conducted on the island.
“Many staffs have been dismissed over different issues, issues perhaps concerning their performance,” he said.
Vice President of TEAM, Mauroof Zakir, said the worker’s organisation condemned the management’s decision.
“On many occasions in many tourist resorts, staff have been dismissed after they strike for their rights,” Mauroof said.
He said he had information that police arrived on Alidhoo resort at midnight on the day of the strike, and escorted the dismissed members of staff off the island.
“We will hold a meeting very soon following this incident,” Mauroof said.
Alidhoo Resort is operated by the Maldivian company Yachttours, owned by local businessman Abdulla Jabir who is currently running as a candidate for Chairperson of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).
Minivan News contacted Jabir for comment but was told “don’t ever call me about this again.”