“The staff resigned after the resort’s management warned them that they would be dismissed if they continued the strike,’’ a staff member working at the hotel told Minivan News. “They were demanding the management reinstate the job of the sacked supervisor, and remained in their rooms without coming out for work.’’
The staff member alleged the supervisor was dismissed for failing to sending his staff to a training class.
“The nine staffs working under him gave in their resignation letter and left the island when they realised that continuing the strike would only get them sacked,” he said.
The staff member claimed resort management had been looking for an opportunity to dismiss the F&B manager, after an incident during final days of Ramadan when the General Manager’s room was vandalised.
“Following the incident police officers arrived at the island and arrested three suspects,” the staff member said.
He claimed the suspects were kept in custody “without any evidence or witnesses”, but were released the next day.
“The three staff [arrested] were the three suspected by management [of committing the crime], but they were unaware of the incident,’’ the staff member claimed, alleging that management subsequently began blacklisting and dismissing “anyone who raised their voice against the management over poor staff facilities.”
“We keep telling the management that this is a five star luxury hotel, and they could do much better than this,’’ he said. “But everyone who tries to raise this subject gets terminated with the slightest provocation.’’
Human Resources Manager of Alila Villa Deepa Manual said Minivan’s information was incorrect.
“Similar events took place in the hotel, but at the moment we would not like to disclose any information regarding the issue,’’ she said.
Vice President of the Tourism Employment Association of the Maldives (TEAM) Ibrahim Mauroof, said the issue of staff mistreatment at resorts was “an issue of concern”.
”Because of the influence of resort owners, staff are often unaware of the rights they have that are stated in the constitution,” said Mauroof. ”Most of the time they do not even know how to demand their rights when they are abused.”
Mauroof added the new laws being drafted governing strike action would narrow the right to strike enshrined in the constitution.
”[The regulations] says that a strike can only be conducted with the consent of management, after it has been provided in a written document,” he said. ”Furthermore, if the strike obstructs the services and affects the customers, the strike can be declared unlawful and striking staff can be arrested.”
He said the issue was “a great concern”, but that it could still be resolved if the organisations involved “came to one table to discuss the issue.”