Shangri-La Villingili Resort and Spa has invited striking staff to return to work, after 157 staff stopped working in protest over the dismissal of four villa hosts.
The villa hosts were dismissed after security and a duty manager discovered they had locked themselves in a guest villa with a PlayStation during a lunch break.
Senior management from the hotel chain flew into the Maldives earlier this week to resolve the situation, just as the Ministry of Human Resources and the Tourism Employees Association of the Maldives (TEAM) became involved.
A statement from the resort today said while management “acknowledges and accepts employees’ rights under Maldivian
Law, because of the serious nature of employee behaviour, 14 staff members will no longer be employed by the property.”
“The management will fill the resulting vacancies with Maldivians,” it added.
Other employees “are invited to return to work”, the resort’s statement said, adding that “initial claims that 65 employees were dismissed are untrue.”
“The resolution reflects the desire to move forward in a fair and reasonable manner considering the needs of the local community and all employees. The resort is operating as normal and no guests have been affected,” Shangri-La said.
Minivan News contacted one of the striking employees camped on Feydhoo, who said the protesters would stick to their original demands, which include a written statement from the resort reinstating the dismissed employees.
“Most of the strikers have been given first and last warnings, which means next thing they do wrong they will be dismissed,” he claimed.
The resort’s general manager went to Feydhoo yesterday and called the 14 dismissed strikers one by one to an area secured by riot police, the striker claimed, to inform them of their dismissal.
Vice President of TEAM Mauroof Zakir said those dismissed included the four villa hosts “and 10 staff who management suspects have been leading the strike.”
He noted that the protesting staff had taken a vote yesterday over whether to continue to with the strike “and the majority decided to continue.”
More than 80 staff are continuing to strike, he said, adding that the resort was continuing to operate normally “because the majority of staff are expatriate.”