Foreign staff at Alidhoo Resort allegedly unpaid for six months: “No complaints with my Ministry,” says Human Rights Minister

Staff at Alidhoo Resort in Haa Alif Atoll have not been paid for up to six months in some cases, sources in the resort have alleged to Minivan News.

According to information from Tourism Employees’ Association of the Maldives (TEAM), corroborated by sources at the resort, the Alidhoo’s management have not paid the resort’s 125 expatriate staff  for six months, while the 85 local employees have not been paid since May.

Alidhoo is run by J Hotel & Resorts, a company owned by current Deputy Leader of the Jumhoree Party, MP Abdullah Jabir, the husband of newly-appointed Minister of Human Rights, Dhiyana Saeed.

Also according to the resort source, the resort has also been deducting seven percent from every staff’ member’s salary for the state pension scheme, but have allegedly failed to deposit this money in their pension accounts.

Staff have gone on strike on three previous occasions over the salary issue, but have been met with harsh penalties including the dismissal of those staffs involved in the strikes. Staff at resort reported that the occupancy was currently eight percent.

Staff went on strike last year shortly before Ramadan, claiming non-payment of wages.

“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,” said a staff member working in the resort at the time.

He also alleged that allowances for the staffs working in the resort had not been paid for the last three months, including service charges and overtime.

The company at the time stated that the delay in payment of the wages was because Jabir, the company’s chairman, was not in the Maldives at the time. Jabir told Minivan News at the time that “The payments were delayed because I was not here.”

A few days later, the resort made a decision to sack 12 staff members following the strike over unpaid wages. Following the dismissals, Jabir told Minivan News, “Don’t ever call me about this again.”

Minivan News tried contacting Jabir today, but did not respond at time of press.


Speaking to Minivan News on condition of anonymity, a staff member today told Minivan News that they were “helpless”. Expatriate staffs in particular had been “forced to remain silent” as their employment was at stake, the source said.

“Every time we go to the management, they say they would pay next week – but it never materialises. Now it has been a month,” he said.

The staff member also confirmed that pension money was regularly deducted but had not been deposited into their pension accounts for the previous five months.

“The last deposit made to our pension account was on January 2012. I personally checked with the Pension Administration Office and that was what they told me,” he said.

The staff member further said that the resort’s bed occupancy had not risen above eight percent for the last two months. This, he said, had dissuaded staff from further strike action “because if we stage a strike we know it is going to be us who will suffer at the end of the day,” he said.

Asked if the staff has contacted the relevant authorities for assistance, he claimed that the process was “long and too risky”.

The General Manager of the Resort, Mr Jadullah, denied the allegations stating that the resort was paying its staff regularly, and told staff to “come and collect it”.

“Those claims over unpaid wages are not true. We have been paying the wages on a regular basis, but there may be some staff who have not come to collect their salaries,” he told Minivan News. “We have asked those staff to collect their salaries before the end of this month,” he said.

Asked about the alleged failure to deposit staff pension money, he said that the resort’s Male’ office was responsible and said he had “asked them in writing to provide the details of the deposits.”

“Organise, fight and win”, says TEAM

Mauroof Zakir, President of Tourism Employees Association of the Maldives (TEAM), told Minivan News that the group had been advising staff on the island after being made aware of the issue.

“This has been happening in that resort for years. In 2009 and 2010 there was a strike regarding unpaid wages and it succeeded in 2010, but after 2011’s strike, the management sacked 12 employees,” he said.

“We are saying that the employees need to organise themselves: they must organise first, and then fight and win,” said Zakir.

Zakir said that TEAM was limited in its capacity to help due to a lack of resources and funding. However he said that TEAM was handling 35 cases currently in several courts and labor tribunals.

He raised concerns regarding the rise of unfair dismissals across the country, and said that even this year so far there had been around 48 such dismissals of employees due to low bed occupancy rates.

Asked about the reasons for the increase, he said, “The biggest reason why the number of unfair dismissals have gone up is because the decisions and orders of the labor tribunal are not enforced. As a result, it encourages resorts to easily sack staff.”

Human Rights Minister reluctant to comment

Human Rights Minister Dhiyana Saeed – the wife of J Hotel’s owner and chairman – said no complaints had been made to her ministry and that therefore she did not want to comment.

Asked for the government’s opinion on the matter of employee exploitation, she repeated her comment.

“I do not want to take the initiative and make a comment on the matter because there are no such reports or complaints submitted to my ministry,” she said.

President of the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM), Mariyam Azra, told Minivan News that the commission would only look into such issues once they had been reported.

Asked if HRCM was advocating the rights of employees, and initiating actions to resolve such matters, she said she would look into the matter and call back. She had not responded at time of press.

HRCM member Jeehan Mahmood told Minivan News that labor exploitation was the number one complaint filed with the commission.

“Sometimes some expatriate workers are forced to work for 11 or 12 months and are not paid or given the required vacation periods. We believe that if it goes on for this long, it’s forced labour,” she said.

Mahmood said that cases in which expatriate workers had worked for 11 or 12 months without pay because they had no other option and were unable to return home, amounted to slavery.


12 thoughts on “Foreign staff at Alidhoo Resort allegedly unpaid for six months: “No complaints with my Ministry,” says Human Rights Minister”

  1. they are supposed to complain to Human Rights Commission, not the Gender, Family and Rights Ministry..

  2. Jabir is well known for his inhumane treatment of staff, local and foreign. Even his contractors have to chase him down to get any thing from that scamming SOB. And since he's got quite a few friends in the government none of his victims will be willing to stick their neck out too far just to be cut down one by one.
    The Maldives is and has been so corrupt that this is the only way 'most' of these people know how to do business. Thats one of the reasons these Maldivian businessmen are so afraid of a truly democratic government that would work for the people. And their foreign partners liking for tax free profits doesn't hurt either. But hey if we aren't going to clean up our own mess why should they care either. It would be great if TEAM would provide some real help (like giving them legal advice, shit! that judiciary is corrupt too...damnit) to those working for J Hotels, I would assume they too have some vested interests in keeping matters of this sort as quiet as possible, just like HRCM and Min of HR.

  3. as stated before, they should complain to the human rights commission...or maybe the employment tribunal..

  4. where is the money he got from MTDC? where the heck is spending it all on? building dhiyaana a fountain of you i suppose...totally crazy...

  5. Jabir is a two faced corrupt little criminal. He treats his staff like dirt and he sucks up to the coup regime for position and power. How much did he contribute to the coup financially?

  6. What is the point of complaining about the corrupt Jabir to the corrupt wife who is part of the coup d'tat???

  7. 2012 best joke awards goes to General Manager J- Resort, Mr Jadullah, it is one of the best joke “Staff are not coming and collecting salary! “ But actually staffs are begging every day for their salary. Actually Mr Jabir is helpless, too much liability and expanses are more than income......... it is the real fact, how is wife (Minister) pretending she don't know anything........full of hypocrisy. I know these people personally; these people are sweeping their shit under the carpet, still stinky smell coming out. Most of the resorts are treating their staff well, only few of the resorts are treating their staff badly and keeping them as slave. We have to appreciate Mr Mauroof Zakir for his contribution for the welfare of resorts staff, all the staff has to help the TEAM by doing some voluntary job and contributing some finance to sustain the organization for the welfare of the resort staff and their family.

  8. Reasons why Jabir is a hero and why we should thank him.
    1. Jabir has taught us that people who manipulate the masses can also be manipulated with guts.
    2. Jabir has shown that carefully maintained power cliques can be penetrated.
    3. Jabir has show that the so called smart (the real corrupt people) can be outsmarted.
    4. Jabir has has show that power is not a monopoly of anyone.

    To shake a system like Maldives, we need more people like Jabir.

    Thank you Mr. Jabir. Be ruthless. Show them hell.

  9. Jabir will one day go to hell and he knows it, but he thought that dhiyana saeed was the tool for him in the former regime to overcome his difficult situations
    knowing that saeed was a corrupted bastard he married saeed and could not deliver anything together and failed he had several chances of getting out of his difficult periods but saeed was his major failure actually speaking Jabir is a fool i heard from a fiend of me happens to be one of seeds friend telling that no maldivian will marry Jabir accept diyana she got married actually without knowing the capacity of Jabirs wealth thinking that he was a very rich guy


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