Shangri-La staff sacked for playing PlayStation, 157 now on strike

Staff at the Shangri-La Villingili Resort are on strike after four workers were dismissed for allegedly playing on a PlayStation in a vacant villa.

A person familiar with the matter told Minivan News that the four men, who were ‘villa hosts’ at the luxury resort in Addu Atoll, took their PlayStation to a vacant guest room during their lunch break, “double locked the door and put up a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign.”

“The staff usually do not get a break during lunch time if the occupation of the island is high, but that day they got a break,” the source said, claiming the dismissal was “against the handbook of the resort.”

The source said the four men were dismissed after they were caught by security manager Jack David and Duty Manager Mohamed Ashraf. In response, 157 staff at the resort went on a four-day strike demanding their colleagues be reinstated.

The men were discovered when the house keeping manager found the room double locked and reported it to the duty manager, “as nobody was supposed to be inside,” the source said.

”The security manager and duty manager attended the place to see who was inside,” he said.

He claimed the security manager went to the back door of the villa just as one of the men inside opened it to see if anyone was outside.

”The security manager thought he was attempting to flee,” the source said.

”He pushed the man, saying ‘You do not know my background, I worked at the military for five years, your life is short now,’ and he fell to the ground and was hurt,” the source alleged.

The security manager “then ordered everyone to stay still until they finished investigating.”

He said that after taking pictures of the scene Ashraf told them the investigation was finished but did not allow them to leave.

”The of them the wanted to leave the room and go,” he said, “but security did not allow them to leave, and it because heated.”

He alleged that when one of them walked toward the door security pushed him back by neck.

”After shouting at each other for a while they managed to leave the room,” the source said.

Resort management gathered a council committee which included seven staff from the resort.

”The committee requested management to act according to the resort’s handbook,” he said, ”which stated that the four men should be given a ‘Category C’ punishment –  a written warning – while security management should be given ‘Category D’ punishment – dismissal.”

The source said the management wanted to give the same punishment to four staff and the security manager, “but everyone was against it, so we told the management that all the staff were against the decision,” he said.

”The next day the manager gathered us and said that he and the general manager had discussed the issue and decided to dismiss all five of them.”

He said that upon hearing the news staff across various sections of the resort were unhappy and petitioned management asking for the case to be reopened a dealt with according to the handbook.”

Shangri-La workers on strike
Shangri-La workers on strike

Bulk dismissal

”When we gave the petition to the manager he told us that everyone who had participated in the petition could also consider themselves dismissed and should leave the island immediately,” the source said.

”So all 65 of us gathered near the administration block demanding he take back the order and reinstate the jobs of the four dismissed villa hosts.”

He claimed the Shangri-La management refused to hold further discussion over the issue, and repeated that they were all dismissed and were to leave immediately.

”Police arrived that night and told us to leave the island within 10 minutes or they would use force,” he said, ”so we left on the resort’s ferry to Feydhoo in Seenu Atoll with the police.”

Police reportedly told the workers they could continue the strike on Feydhoo “in accordance with the law.”

”We are now in Feydhu continuing our strike and we now we have 157 Maldivian staff from Shangri-La with us,” he said.

”We will not stop until management decides to give us a written document reinstating the jobs of the four villa hosts.”

Vice President of the Tourism Employment Association of Maldives (TEAM) Mauroof Zakir said the association “fully supports” the strike.

”The International Union of Foodworkers (IUF) are also supporting the event,” Zakir said, adding that he was now at Feydhoo with the strikers taking part in the event.

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam confirmed that police arrived at the island upon request of the resort management.

Shiyam said the management claimed the situation was threatening to escalate into a brawl and requested police remove the staff from the island.

Shangri-La’s Director for Communication Leslie Garcia said investigation of the case was ongoing and she was unable to provide more information.

Deputy Minister of the Labour Relations Authority Aiminath Shifaya meanwhile said that the ministry was trying to resolve the issue peacefully by negotiating with management and employees.

Shifaya said two representatives of the ministry were now present on Feydhoo.

”We hope that the issue would be solved by tomorrow,” she said. ”Both sides are co-operating with us.”

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23 thoughts on “Shangri-La staff sacked for playing PlayStation, 157 now on strike”

  1. Shangri-La was suppose to be a great hope for the adduans.However the employess must have dicipline. I regret TEAM encouraging such strike. Do they consider the ultimate fate?. We are very much dependant on foreign investmenst. If our ppl work like union style, ivestors will have to think twice. I now question this western democracy is ruining everything including our wealth.

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  2. wow, i don't know what to make of this. heck, let them sort themselves out first. close the resort. let them be unemployed. let them starve...

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  3. I don't know what the resort handbook says about such an incident, but I can imagine that any International Hotel would not tolerate such behaviour.

    What were those four men thinking? Are they on holiday? Summary dismissal is the least they can expect for such behaviour.

    This is precisely why resorts are employing foreign labour. Foreigners work hard and don't do stupid things like this!

    The locals are just good for nothing these days. They shame the good name of Addu and its history.

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  4. There is a general understanding that the Employment Act = an employees act with no rights but myriad responsibilities enforced upon employers. Maintaining discipline often requires harsh measures and strikers should expect compensation at the most. An employer cannot continue to employ those who flagrantly violate rules and regulations. This situation is prevalent in most government offices where the civil service regulations protect civil servants but systematically prevents employers from maintaining discipline and increasing productivity. Public sector employees at the courts of law usually consider themselves beyond reproach or dismissal resulting in tardiness, absenteeism and low productivity. The labor relations authority should also focus on ensuring the rights of employers as well as those whom they employ.

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  5. We give Shangri-La one of the most beautiful islands in Maldives to pocket profits - and this is how they treat us!

    There should be enough entertainment facilities for Maldivians to enjoy while they are working; otherwise we want our island back!

    Maldivian should be posted at key positions and not foreigners! If this is not turning out to be fruitful to Adduans, Shangri-La might as well vacate the place and go.

    Discrimination between foreign staff and Maldivians staff is simply not acceptable!

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  6. Why do ppl forget the issue while commenting?
    This is not about an international company discriminating Maldivians in Maldivian soil.
    This is about 4 employees being punished for misuse of company property. Maybe firing them is bit harsh, but I stand by with the decision.

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  7. "Maldivian should be posted at key positions and not foreigners!" -- heck

    "heck", what the heck are you talking about? Maldivians have no work ethic, are lazy and still want the best jobs? Forget it mate! At least try learning something from the foreigners!

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  8. This is realy stiupid adduans. Shangri-la pls takeout all of them n clean the. make the island more beautiful. they are not fighting rights its just political game from DRP menbers. Shaneez give suport for them..

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  9. This is stupid. Law, order and norms should be respected. the guest faclity is for guest and they pay a hell of a lot. staff should know their boundery.

    Good thing the management did. this will wake up and will help to make the line thicker and prominent.

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  10. Wow. Was this a strike conducted in a reasonable manner, with reasonable demands, and a reasonable staff/management?

    In this case, reasonable demands would be something that was agreed to beforehand by the management and the staff, not something ridiculous like demanding a General Manager be fired just because the staff didn’t like him/her. It’s nice to hear a happy ending every once in a while.

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  11. ”The of them the wanted to leave the room and go,” he said, “but security did not allow them to leave, and it because heated.”

    may be security manager need an english course first

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  12. Come on now!

    The guys need a break once in a while. What better way than Playstation.

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  13. as for me i feel sorry for shangri-la who gave jobs and trust to this people and they abused it. It is not question of maldivian being on key positions but why there are local managers who did not support those on strike, must b people with brains, thats why. Entertainment facilities anywhere in the world does not include guest area and guest bed while a person is on duty, shame on them and and shame on these people on TEAM supporting this acts. Its like telling them not to do their job right and show the narrow mindedness of our people who do not know how to say sorry and just make stories to cover up their mistakes! Instead of condemning shangri-la, we should support them to apologize for the stupidities of our own people and to ensure that they do not think we are all like that. If they give us back our island, can you give the people jobs to support their family?

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  14. Shangri-La gives Addu one of the most beautiful resorts in Maldives to benefit their atoll and community – and this is how they treat the resort!

    There ARE enough entertainment facilities for ALL STAFF to enjoy while they are working. Much better facilities than other resorts in fact.

    Maldivians should be posted at key positions and not foreigners only if they are ready and qualified! If the low level Maldivians are already acting this way then what can you expect from if you put local management at this point in time!

    If Adduans are not seeing this grand opportunity as fruitful to their atoll and community, Shangri-La might as well vacate the place and go, and leave this atoll to let it starve.

    Discrimination between foreign staff and Maldivians staff is simply not acceptable and the resort agrees!

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  15. Chase away Shangri La .... just as they chased away the Britishers from Gan .... as if the Adduans got a good deal from the chase aways ....

    Looks like the resort belongs to the Addu Employees working there....

    TEAM is like "Hasanu Dhefai" and its all over the "Odi".
    Maldivian democracy at Baiy kakkaa kulhey level ga.

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  16. Dear poor maldivians, its gud for u people that those big hotels like sangrila is comeing to ur country and giveing u jobs other wise what u will eat, dont forget in few years time there will be no maldives so u have to go out and work so batter please start learning how to work rather then how to play playstation ok

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  17. hello addus.

    lets have fun.we have enough money so we all may go to herathera.lets all join hands to dig our own grave also our forefather dreams.

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  18. Hello Adduans,

    There is a good news if u keep doing like this then Shangri-La has to pack up and they dont think of opening a property in Maldives and they almost going to finish one year before that

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  19. Such a shame! How ignorant, stubborn and naive can one get? I wish TEAM would at least show them the right path, really disappointed with the TEAMs strategy and their role in heating the whole situation up. Even if the staff in concern believe, or the TEAM stands by them, this act cannot be justified as right! Because it is wrong, and it is so clear that staff are not allowed to use resort properties, especially guest facilities at their disposal, be it during the work hours or off hours! The fact that they had locked the doors and took every precaution to avoid being caught in the act was proof enough that they knew what they were doing was wrong!
    I fully support Shangri-la's stand on this, and I hope they stay put on it, cos these staff do not, for what ever reason, deserve the jobs anymore! DONT GIVE THEM THEIR JOB BACK! They will never be faithful and trust worthy, even if they were given the jobs back!
    Such a Shame!

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  20. Maldivian Resort Worker, I fully agree with you.These guyz must be black listed in the whole industry and never should give them to repeat this kind of behavior. Most probably these parteys and simply they were not simply playing games they must be taking drugs as well owise when they make a mistake they should apologize not become rebaliouse to an offence created by themselves.

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  21. First of all, please DO NOT generalize in this or any other matter. As an expat in this beautiful country I am happy to say that Maldivian are very nice and friendly people. However, as in all countries there are those who are the opposite. Maldivian or non-Maldivian, rules are rules and we all have signed the contract agreeing to these rule.

    Heck: Please read you comment again and hopefully you will realize how silly it seems, “There should be enough entertainment facilities for Maldivians to enjoy while they are working; otherwise we want our island back!”

    I want to tell you to grow up and act responsible. This is real life and not kinder-garden Are we here to entertain ourselves while on duty or to work?

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  22. now, you people can concentrate on playing becasue you do not have work to do! good luck and have fun!

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