Staff dismissed from Conrad Rangali Island resort today gathered outside the President’s Office, demanding to meet President Mohamed Nasheed.
One of the 29 staff members protesting outside the President’s Office said he was “shocked” to have been dismissed after working for the resort for eight years.
”There were times when the situation of the resort was very poor, but I worked there because I loved working in the island,” he said. ”The management did not even consider all that when they dismissed me all of a sudden,” he added.
He said everyone dismissed had families and people to look after.
”I got the message that I was terminated from my job after playing football in the evening,” another staff member said. ”When I came back there were 15 missed calls and a text message from the management asking me to be present at the Human Resources Department.”
He said he went there and was told that he had been dismissed.
”They said they had to dismiss us due to low occupancy, but I work in a department that operates even if there were no guests at all,” he said. ”So I asked the management why they didn’t dismiss persons from the departments that have no work during the low season.”
He claimed the dismissal was due to a strike they held at the resort on March 23.
”We went on a strike over some issues regarding the service charge, but a whole force of police arrived in full riot gear, with pepper spray and tear gas, and ended our strike,” he said .”But we strike because it is a right. We were terminated for demanding our rights, and now we have to beg on the streets.”
He called on the parliament to “pave the way” for the rights and freedoms guaranteed in the constitution.
”All the MPs do is go to parliament, shout at each other, climb up their desks and go home,” he said. ”Little children in our house have seen them do that and have started behaving like them.”
He noted that the resort’s management had paid the dismissed staff all the allowances as required in their employment agreement.
Conrad Rangali meanwhile confirmed that the management had decided to make 29 positions in the island redundant.
”Conrad Maldives Rangali Island confirms that due to the partial closure of its guest rooms for renovation and lower occupancies during the traditional low season in the Maldives, it has made 29 positions redundant,” the resort said in a statement.
”The redundancies affect only a small number of staff and the resort has offered generous redundancy payments to provide affected team members with financial support while they search for alternative employment.”
The resort also said it ”will not affect service levels at the resort in any way and the ratio of staff-to-guests will remain at a minimum of two members of staff to each guest room.”