Staff strike at Conrad Rangali Island Resort

Management at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island resort have confirmed that a “number” of it staff have resorted to strike action at the site over alleged disputes with management.

Minivan News understands that Maldives tourism authorities have sent a team to the site to try and resolve the dispute.

In a statement the resort, which is part of the multi-national hospitality group Hilton Worldwide, said that it was working to try and resolve the strikes as quickly as possible, while prioritising the safety and security of employees and guests.

Head of the Tourism Employees Association of Maldives (TEAM), Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Ahmed Easa, alleged that some staff at the resort had resorted to the action over concerns about possible discrimination between the earnings of local and expatriate staff.

The resort statement did not confirm any key grievances of staff involved in the strike action.  The company did claim though that all its employees, or “team members” as they are known, received equal service charge payments, along with being offered the fourth highest service charge allocations of resorts operating in the country and various staff amenities including a gym and recreation areas.

Easa said that he believed that the Conrad resort was widely considered a “beautiful” property with a very good management that took care of its staff.  However, he claimed that some staff at the resort were contending that there was an issue of discrimination relating to staff earnings based on nationality. He conceded he did not yet have full details of the strike action.

“From what I understand, the issue has been created by the resort’s general manager not communicating with staff over concerns about discrimination between European and Maldivian staff,” he said.

TEAM said it was therefore calling on the workers involved with the strikes to sit down and find an amicable resolution to potential concerns held by both parties and try to establish any truth in these grievances.

Easa said there had been claims from staff that Maldivian workers had been receiving different salary rates and accommodation standards when compared to their European counterparts.  He added that there were also criticisms that local workers’  services charge payments were being split unevenly on similar grounds.

The TEAM president said that he would therefore look to clarify the current allegations concerning employers striking at the resort and what action could possibly be taken in regards to resolving the dispute.

“We hope that the company will meet with both sides and not just listen to senior management before deciding if the allegations are true or false,” he said.  “However, if employees are wrong in their accusations, we will say they are wrong. Both the employer and the employee have rights under the Maldives constitution.”

In its statement, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island rejected claims that service charges were kept by the property itself or undistributed unevenly, adding that management were proud with the level of staff satisfaction in its annual team member survey.

“The resort has a sector-leading reputation for our team member training programmes. We offer opportunities for promotion and career advancement and wherever possible recruit from within,” the company stated.  “We also have a highly developed employee representation structure to ensure all employees can express their points of view to the management team.”

The statement claimed additionally that management at the site constantly sought to review rates of pay in order to make adjustments based on “current market conditions” for its staff, which are made up of 70 percent Maldivian workers and 30 percent of expatriates from 25 different countries.

“In addition to the service charge allocation, team members receive a range of additional benefits including access to a team member soccer pitch, some of the best team member accommodation in the Maldives, a recreation area, gym, internet café and regular team sporting and social activities,” the statement said.

Back in November, a bill was passed to the Majlis’ National Security Committee concerning possible amendments to regulations for industrial action at the country’s resort properties

The bill was initially passed to pariliament in August by the Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) in attempts to try and curb strikes such as those seen last year at Kurumba resort that reduced occupancy rates to zero for a period.

Parliamentary debate over the bill has seen both fierce opposition and support from figures across the tourism industry, who have argued that current unregulated strike action is detrimental to travel income.

Secretary General of the Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) Sim Mohamed Ibrahim, said at the time of the debates that that the organisation was not looking to prevent strikes.

However, Ibrahim added that the association was looking to prevent strikes from taking place directly on private resort property.

“No striking on the resort is a fundamental right of the owner,” he said. “You don’t strike on the shop floor.”

An resort employee told newspaper Haveeru that staff were protesting in the staff recreation area “in such a way that it would not cause any disturbance to the tourists.”


20 thoughts on “Staff strike at Conrad Rangali Island Resort”

  1. While acknowledging the importance of the income for Maldives, resort owners and managements take the cream off the milk.

    The Rangali local partners do not actually believe that they should share the wealth with those who work fro them. Their attitude is "even the animals know who feeds them" but the staff do not.

    I do not know how the money is shared but I must say I was appalled to see the women's accommodation.

    When I entered the room, it had eight beds (four bunk beds) on either side left and right. I walked to the bath room, the passageway barely enough for two people to stand next to each other. No extra space for cupboards. The girls threw their towels and worn clothes over the bed rail.

    I know that many resorts do not want Maldivians cos Maldivians will not accept the crappy treatment they get.They prefer foreigners in low paid jobs so they can be paid lower and manipulated.

    The Ministry of Tourism is part of the Mafia, so is Labor Ministry. The Government and MDP and so is DRP suckers to all the big resort owners. MATI will do everything to continue the practices and the Parliament will be paid off. Zulfa is an ideal pawn.

    To break the discriminating practices, the association of tourist resort staff should get stronger and lobby for change together.

  2. lets see if zulfa can bring a positive change that will benefit the people. probably just another pawn and chances are slim with all that money floating around...but one can always hope...

  3. @ HR defender

    "While acknowledging the importance of the income for Maldives, resort owners and management takes the cream off the milk"

    So who do you suggest should take the cream? The employees? From your twisted logic it is apparent that you have a communist mindset which by the way is being abandoned by even the last few die-hard communist nations on earth.

    In a free market economy where the "investors" invest and risk their money and produce wealth by bringing together the various factors of production, it is only natural that the owners should take the cream of their "OWN INVESTMENTS AND WORK"!! Period!

    The Employees work for the employers under a contract and for the wages and facilities offered by the Employer and agreed by the Employee. Of course it is not only in the interest of the employer to offer decent wages and satisfactory conditions to the employees to make them happy and be motivated in their work for the employers but also a legal obligation.

    But your comment that "Rangali local partners do not actually believe that they should SHARE THE WEALTH WITH THOSE WHO WORK FOR THEM" is pure Communist rubbish!

    The wealth of the company belongs to the owners of the business and certainly they are not obliged to "share the welath" with anybody. It is good corporate practice to offer decent wages (that a re financially viable for the company) and take good care of the employees. But by no means is it a duty for the owner to share his wealth. That's nonsense.

    The Tourism Industry is the only industry paying taxes in this country. And this tax funds the government budget from which the government provides various services to the public. That is how in modern free market societies the "Wealth is distributed" if one can phrase it that way.

    I am not sure which resort's condition that you have described in your comments on female accommodation. If that is indeed true it is apalling. So if your allegation is true, why don't you have the guts to mention which resort you are referring to?

    Your description of staff accommodation is not representative of the industry's excellent staff facilities in general. The vast majority of staff provide provide very reasonable living conditions and recreational facilities to the staff.

    The menu in the resort staff canteens offer balanced healthy diet with various types of meat, salads and fruits etc. and the type of accommodation provided are extremely good including many air conditioned rooms. Is this the type of diet or the type of accommodation that the general public have at their homes?

    Let us now compare the other industries in the country or the condition of domestic workers. Are the accommodation provided or food provided by other industries for their employees even near to what the tourism industry provides? Do the owners of construction companies, fisheries companies, retail firms etc. "Spread their wealth" amongst their employees?

    People like you who are envious or jealous of successful and rich tycoons should work hard to become like them instead of whining about "spreading wealth". Follow the example of Sun Travel Siyam who was an Airport Rep at the Airport before or Jabir who was selling in the streets of Male before and now have worked hard to rise to the positions they are now in.

    Let us now talk about the right of staff to strike. Of course they do have this right guaranteed by the Constitution. But do you know how employees are allowed to strike in other countries? A pilot navigating a flight cannot go on strike in mid air together with the cabin crew.

    There should be communication with the management to try and resolve their differences before going on strike and when the staff go on strike it should be with prior notice. Further more if the employees are going on strike in a resort, then they should leave the island to go on strike and not report to work at the resort.

    The staff have no right to go on strike and remain on the resort. Striking on "factory floor" is not allowed. The staff quarters in the resort belongs to the owner or the management of the resort who provides that accommodation for the employee to stay during his period of service and is "NOT THE HOME OF THE EMPLOYEE". Therefore, these so-called strikes by employees while remaining on the property of owners is not only illegal but also a threat to the safety and security of the multi million dollar investment of the owners and also a threat to the safety of guests. What if one of the disgruntled employee starts a fire at the resort or assaults someone? There are no police on the resort like inhabited islands.

    When employees of a company go on strike in Male, then they should stay at home and not report to duty. They can't just go in to the office and then declare they are on strike! That becomes an unlawful gathering.

    In a civilized society there are certain norms that need to be followed and boundaries for behavior.

    And just as we advocate the protection of workers' rights so we must protect the rights of the investors and owners of businesses.

  4. We all have the right to strike. Some of us are treated like shit. Despite our hardwork , there is always a special prference given to the white skin. There is always a lot more to offer to them then us.

  5. Just a few other comments that I wish to add to my above comments.

    The Employees Act is legally binding on "All Employers' in this country and not just the Tourism Industry. We constantly hear about Tourism Employees and their rights.

    Will someone tell me if all the domestic workers that you guys keep at every home get the fair treatment mandated by the Law? Are you employers providing sufficient rest to them? Do you provide over time? How about decent accommodation and a minimum wage?

    What about employees in the various shops and other businesses? Are the owners complying with the law and providing over time etc.? How about the cafes and restaurants?

    No one seems to be bothered about any of this. It's always about the tourism industry. Why? Is the Employment Act legally binding only on the Tourism Industry?

    My point is, the Tourism Industry is driving force of our economy and a trend setter of all good practice. It is they who do anything about the environment eg: using incinerators to burg garbage while the neighboring island dumps them on to the beach or the sea.

    It is the Tourism Industry who complies with international standards in fire safety and food hygiene.

    It is the Tourism Industry that brings in the highest per capita foreign currency to the Maldives in the whole of South Asia.

    It is this industry that has established the Maldives on the world map as a top luxury tourist destination.

    All this didn't happen by accident. It is the sheer hard work and vision of the resort barons that made this possible. And it is this that allows you and me to enjoy the kind of lifestyle that we are now used to live.

    So it is in our national interest to ensure that we do not subject this industry to industrial action in the way that we now see.

    It is also paramount that the security of the resorts are guaranteed against gangs of thieves in this lawless society.

    It will only take a few nasty incidents to wipe this industry off or damage it fatally.

  6. @Ilyas - we couldn't agree more as guests at Rangali Island. This is our very first time to ever visit the Maldives from the USA and we were planning on returning to tell all of our friends and family what a wonderful and beautiful destination this is.

    Now - our holiday has been severely disrupted with the employee strike.

    We of course hope that employees are treated equally and fairly but please for the sake of your own country's reputation and even more for the Conrad - please end this quickly. Don't become like France where it is a running joke on how often they strike.

    For Americans it takes 2 days and thousands of dollars to get here. People will not come if there is a continued risk of a strike. Speaking to other guests here, they have all enjoyed their experience but it will all quickly go sour if this isn't resolved.

  7. Comments by striking staff such as "in such a way that it would not cause any disturbance to the tourists.” are a joke.

    When more than half the employees don't show up for work then there will naturally be major distruptions to the paying guest of our country. Their rooms won't be cleaned, the phones won't be answered, outlets will be foreced to close becasue they don't have the staff to operate.

    Come on - how ignorant are you trying to make Maldivians look to the rest of the world???

    And was there any warning that you were going on strike so the employer could get aditional staff in to cover your negotiations or did you just decide to strike to cause the most disruption you could make?

    People are not stupid, they see what these strikers are doing, they are terrorist in the work place - nothing more.

  8. An act of extremist fundamentalists. Can someone find out whether these guys have got beards? Is this not an act of terrorism??

  9. @ Dhonfuthu 12:40 AM

    "Despite our hard work, there is always a special preference given to the white skin".

    Large majority of resorts are owned and operated by Maldivians and not foreigners. So why should Maldivians be discriminating against fellow Maldivians? Does that make sense?

    Consider this. The Maldivian Tourism Industry has now developed to a world class industry competing with top world class hotels and resorts in various countries.

    It is paramount that the staff at these resorts are qualified with the necessary top world class professional skills (be it in food and beverage, food production, House Keeping etc.) to be able to deliver the kind of service that the resorts need to provide a highly discerning clientele.

    Now it is the sad truth that apart from a few experienced Maldivian staff, most of the Maldivian staff simply do not have these skills. Most staff are coming from rural islands with little education or training and the resorts are compelled to provide on the job training for these staff. Only a few can even speak in English properly. What ever language that they manage to speak is what is picked up by trying to speak to guests by listening to them.

    This sad state of affairs is due to the fact that the previous Government had failed miserably in training the necessary staff for the needed jobs within the industry. Our hotel school has been total failure in producing manpower to the industry.

    As this dynamic industry has been expanding rapidly, there is an acute shortage of staff for the jobs that are available at the resort.

    Most young educated youth do not like to work in the resorts away from social life and their families or boyfriend/girlfriends.

    Under these circumstances there is no choice for resort owners. They need to employ foreigners and capable foreigners to fill the jobs that Maldivians are not able to fill or are unwilling to work in.

    By employing skilled, experienced foreign staff with international hotel experience the industry has been able to raise its standards over the last several years enabling the Maldives to become a top world class destination.

    Had the Maldivian tourism industry continued to work with only the limited Maldivian skills that we have had, this industry would not be no where near its current position but probably at the level of some low level hotels in Trivandrum.

    Employing skilled foreigners help transfer their skills to Maldivian on the job (which they are other wise able to gain).

    Having said all this, it is important for the management of resorts to provide the same pay and benefits for the same job irrespective of nationality. There should be no discrimination in this. I do agree that there continues to be a problem in this area in a few resorts and this must be stopped.

    But, we need to stop bashing foreign employees especially skilled foreign employees for our troubles. It is thanks to them we have managed to develop the Maldives to this extent and their contribution must be recognized and appreciated.

    One last word. The cheap Labor from Bangladesh are filling up manual labor jobs that we Maldivians are no longer willing to do even if some one pays higher.

  10. BRAVO Ilyas Ahmed. Finally somone with half a brain in this country...

    couldnt agree with you more.

    the tourism industry is the ONLY industry thats paying taxes.. and how many taxes do they pay??? bed rent,GST, lease rent, and now Profit tax?
    the business pay tax and its up to the governtment to distribute it equally and sensibly.
    This kind of communist thinking will not get us anyway and its driven purely by petty jealousy and defies logic.

    if we had more people like Ilyas Ahmed and less input from idiots like HR defender there MIGHT be a chance for this country to move forward . unfortunately , reality is that people like HR defender are sponges ready to absorb anything that people like Easa from TEAM say, regurgitate and repeat mindlessly and our President is too busy going to bed with people like Easa to win more votes.

    this country is doomed.

  11. @ Jason ..thanks a lot

    @ Evok.. thanks man!

    I wonder what Easa from TEAM is doing in a center right political party like MDP.

    It is ridiculous for resort workers to go on strike at the resort (which belongs to owner) and expect the resort owner to cook and feed them and let the staff to sleep in the rooms of the owner while the staff are supposedly on strike!

    Where on earth does this happen? BY all means strike if you must. But go home and be on strike.

    These communist style antics are a threat to the whole society. I am all for workers rights and well as owners rights. But what is happening in this country is now too much. HEP Nasheed should deal with these issues decisively.

  12. @Ilyas - You have very well presented many facts and most importantly with neutrality.

    Your question about Easa and TEAM, what is he really doing in any way, whether in MDP or elsewhere?

    TEAM (Tourist Employees Association of Maldives) as is called should represent ALL employees in this very dynamic industry of the Maldives. However this does not seems to be the case, either Easa does not understand what TEAM stands for, their objectives are mistaken and or the Association is setup up with other motives and hidden agendas.

    Perhaps it may be time that one questions on their membership, how many are registered with them and which categories of employment are represented in the Association. Are all employs in the industry represented by them just because one registers an Association with a name reflective to the employs in the industry or should they represent those who are members of the Association. To my knowledge the registered members in the Association is very few and may even be limited to categories that Easa and his team thinks fit and it is also possible that some requests for membership may even have been turned down because he or she is in a supervisory or senior post. This is understandable because if qualified and senior level employees become members of the Association, it is likely that Easa may loose control of the Association as it would then be run in a more professional manner with realistic approaches.

    It is a bit surprising that every time there is a dispute between the staff and management, Easa of TEAM is referred to even when those staff are not members of TEAM. Does he have the capacity to handle such disputes or is he qualified to mediate such disputes in a more realistic manner without bias. It is also surprising that the media refers to him or TEAM on these matters without providing any information on the strength of the Association and whether they have any legal mandate to address these issues on behalf of all the employs in the industry.

    It may perhaps be better for Easa to concentrate on his work in the Parliament and try to deliver things within his capacity without trying to use some of the employees in the industry as tools to gain an identity and fame for himself.

    Without generalising the whole of the tourism industry, it is known that the majority of the resort managements and their owners do care and value their employees and do provide good services and benefits and in many instances much more than what is specified or even TEAM could expect.

    The manner in which Easa and TEAM tries to come into these disputes supposedly to resolve, one may think that he could even be instigating these disputes, and should not be surprised to learn if thats the case.

  13. @ Eleven - your comments about TEAM and Easa are very true. Staff working in the industry need to think about this deeply and do something about this

  14. to put our voice to the debate:

    The problem about Hilton Rangali strike was not about white skin or black skin, nor was it a problem with owner vs staff... the problem was that Ranagli despite being one of the better hotels in the country, Yet seems to always be conniving ways to short change the workers..! this is unbelievable and has to stop.
    Now, resort workers are always in a position to know the incomes of the resort and if their service charge income is being manipulated they know. So they are right to strike if they know they are cheated.

    As for the discriminating practice, also this goes beyond black and white skin debate. Its also absurd to say that there aren't enough qualified personnel to run a resort. Apart from the top executive positions most positions in a resort can easily be filled with locals. But due to current operating procedures its easier to import expat workers rather than find the locals. So there is a mix of nationalities which is good for the operation.

  15. @ Ilyas - Regarding your comments about WORLD CLASS tourism, i would like to say few words! It seems you haven't seen Hospitality or you are one of that tycoons that you are talking about... i am a Maldivian too and a resort worker as well and i have seen hotel industry and it's staff in different countries, In my view the Maldivian resort workers have much more knowledge and passion to hospitality, but still they are discriminated from expats! I am now in one of Hotel in Dubai and from what i learned it will take them another 20 more years to come as same level as Maldivian hospitality level! And do you know why?? Because we maldivians are born to this! we love to help others!! so i don't understand what world class you are talking about! WE ARE WORLD CLASS!!!

  16. @ resort workers

    I am not talking about the particular issue at Rangali Conrad.

    I am just saying that the resort workers are misusing the "right to strike" by not following the necessary steps before going on strike. ie: to negotiate with the management first and if that fails to notify them of the strike before going on strike. And when you do go strike, go home and be on strike instead of expecting the owner 9against who you are striking to feed you and let you sleep in his rooms while you go on strike!

    There are several good Maldivian workers and some of them are outstanding. But to say that we have enough qualified local workers in the industry is simply false.

    There are 96 resort islands and over 450 safari vessels and on top of it all another 60 resorts are under construction. The sad truth is we don't have that manpower.

    What I would urge resort workers is to be professional in their approach to seeking your rights. Which is something you should do if you are not being treated fairly. But do it in a way that you consider your guests well being and the interest of maintaining the industry's international reputation intact. It is in your direct interest that this industry's reputation is not damaged.

  17. @ Hakeem

    Criticism can sometimes hurt and would be painful to accept when you take criticism personally. To be professional one should be ready to listen to criticism and be ready to do a self examination and think about the criticism before getting emotional.

    If you have read my posts carefully you would notice that I echo your assertion that the Maldives Tourism Industry is world class. It is the sheer hard work and vision of the resort owners and the hard work of ALL those staff in the industry who has toiled for so many years that has brought the industry to this position. That includes the Maldivian staff as well as expatriate staff that has made this possible.

    Without the professional input from expatriate GMs, executives and other professionals this would not have been possible. why? Because our former Government failed to train and produce the necessary staff for this industry.

    You are right about the genuine warmth and friendliness of Maldivians that makes our hospitality industry so successful. And you will notice in my posts above that I do agree that there have been cases of unfair practice within the industry which needs to be corrected.

    But at the same time, we must acknowledge that there are also reasons why Maldivian owners and Maldivian management had and still continue to have issues with some Maldivian staff.

    And, this has to do with discipline, attendance etc. Some staff might go on off days and over stay or disappear when they go on leave etc. etc. I do not want to go into all the details. If one were to examine the two sides of this issue you will see that both the management and the staff share the blame.

    We need to address these issues and strengthen the HR frame work and protect the rights of workers and the owners of businesses.

    What I don't condone is the unprofessional manner in which resort workers have been going on "strike" at the resorts. Before going on strike the staff should raise their concerns with the management and if they are unable to resolve the issues fairly and if your rights are being violated, then you can go on strike but with prior notice. And to go on strike the staff must leave the resort and go home.

    In civilized nations this is how it works. But sadly what we see at the moment is different. Suddenly you hear about a strike at a resort and sometimes it has resulted in violence. These sort of actions can only be described as "illegal gatherings" or unauthorized "demonstrations" (Muzaahiraa) and not strikes (Halhuthaalu). These actions are meant as a tool to blackmail rather than professional tactics of labor negotiations.

    To prevent these cycles of irrational behavior management of resorts need to sit down with the representatives of their staff to solve major grievances. And let us move forward with dignity for staff and success for the industry.

  18. @ ilyas
    The workers in general do negotiate with the management before going to strike but the problem here is we have a culture of ignoring workers legitimate demands. In most cases the moment a worker asks for something like explanation of service charge distribution, he is automatically blacklisted and on the hit list. Not that this happens in every resort, but this is the case in the majority of resorts. Just as workers are urged to be professional so is there a big need for employers (in general) to respect the legitimate concerns of the workers.

    And its a funny way to strike from home as you suggest because strikes are not conducted for the fun of it. Strikes are done by grown-ups who have family, responsibility and a lot to loose if things turn out against them. Workers go on strike to solve a problem which couldn't be solved by amicable dialogue. As for striking at home that's probably a unique concept the humanity has to adopt...!! It would be very helpful if you could furnish us some interesting home strikes by workers and what it achieved anywhere..

    As for the manpower problem we seem to have, you have only mentioned 96 +60 resort islands and 450 safari vessels but what about the school leavers and graduates from various courses at hotel school MCHE etc? What about the mundane positions like waiter, roomboys? Is it the case that even these positions cannot be filled locally?

    Another point you have raised is about discipline, attendance etc (pertaining to local staff). "...Some staff might go on off days and over stay or disappear when they go on leave etc..."

    This is true to some extent in some resorts but this happens only in resorts where the workers feel their pay is worthless anyway. In the better resorts (which pay a substantially higher amount of service charge) you would find this problem is practically unheard off. If not for the visa and passport restrictions you would find the expatriates will runaway from such positions faster than the locals. To tarry in a thankless poor-paying job (for the sake of it) has more to do with being mentally challenged than
    to do with discipline.

  19. @ Resort workers

    Agreed that if a single staff were to make a complaint that some managers might not look at that staff favorably. There are ways to over come this. Collective negotiations should be exercised. Petitions can be submitted. The list goes on. Point is “going on strike” should be the last option and not the first action. Strikes have a destabilizing effect on the whole industry .

    It is not funny at all to say that the staff must leave the premises of the owner (never forget that) to go on strike. Maldivian resorts are geographically on separate islands where the staff are provided accommodation during their period of service. To go on strike, staff should go to Male’ and strike in front of the offices of the resorts. But to expect the owner against whom that staff strike to provide accommodation and food while the staff continue to strike is simply bizarre. And worst of all without any notice which disrupts service to guests severely.

    Out of all school leavers 50% are girls. And most families are still reluctant to let girls work in the resorts. As for the rest, it is the belief of a large number of parents and also school leavers that they should look for a desk job when they look for work. Dignity of labor especially manual work doesn’t exist in this society. So, reluctance of school leavers to go and work in resorts.

    Second, many youth simply do not wish to work in resorts because you will have to sacrifice social life. In the end it is mostly, kids from the atolls who are determined to earn a living for themselves that venture out to seek jobs at resorts. I salute you for this!

    As for MCHE, this is a joke. Maximum number of graduates are less than 15 a year and those graduates again look for only desk jobs or managerial jobs when they lack any experience.

    So the problems go on. This is a large topic and cannot be discussed at length here.

    Your last point is an expression of frustration. I can only empathize with that. But the answer is not sudden unannounced strikes at resorts.

    Tourists are seeking peaceful destinations for their vacation and they have plenty of choice.

    The Maldives has been popular because it has been known for the beauty and peaceful environment as well as the friendly service. It has been known more as an island destination.

    In the post 9/11 world, there is enough tension on perceived Islamic radicalization and the Maldives is not immune to problems associated with this whether rightly or wrongly.

    Today, the resorts are under threat from such extremism, gangs of thieves (Khihaadhuffaru and Baros case) as well as Unprofessional strikes from workers.

    High crime in the country is another factor which is not lost of travelers. Many expatriate staff of tour operators live in fear in Male.

    So the way things are going it would not be too difficult for this country to end up like a failed state. Hence, the reason, while we should seek peaceful and professional means to solve our problems.

    P.s My last post on this topic 🙂

  20. ok here is what happens (most of the time) when you go collective and submit a petition:
    1. the 'management' identifies who prepared the letter etc.. and who actively participated in organising the exercise..
    2. the 'management' labels them as the trouble makers
    3. the resort moves against the trouble makers and have them expelled from resort..

    In general that's how collective bargaining starts and ends in Maldives resorts. We are not saying that this approach shall be abandoned, but that there should be acknowledgement that employers do not play fair in these circumstances.

    As for going on to Male' to protest, this about a resort management, this is perhaps the funniest crap the MATI has advanced so far and it is sad that people appears to buy it. striking on shop floor as is defined in wikipedia is like this:

    “The Shop floor literally is the floor of a factory (machine shop) where people work on machines, or the space in a retail establishment where goods are sold to customers. It is opposed to offices and so forth providing accommodation to the business's management.”

    In resorts there are 'guest areas' and 'staff areas'. All (which means 100%) of the resort strikes happened in staff areas and it only spilled to guest areas when the management either ignored the workers demands or just let the strike go on hoping the it will dissipate. In the Reethi Rah protest, the protest spilled to guest area when the owners brought in riot police to fight with the peaceful protesters. there are many examples like this. Also most of the resort strikes happened and ended in the staff area without the guests being inconvenienced. So this crap against going to Male' to protest is just crap from resort owner's cartel to whom the concept of listening to workers has not dawned yet.

    As for the stats of required number of workers:
    (96+60) resorts X 200 persons per resort is 31.2k workers
    450 safaris X 6 workers on (avg)=2700
    added together=33.9k workers
    out of this expats make 50%. so it is
    16.95k workers. Now we also do not assume that this number of workers will be required all at once! Lets say there is a 10% growth every year which makes 1.695k workers..! Not a lot right?

    Another point "...resorts are under threat from such extremism, gangs of thieves (Khihaadhuffaru and Baros case)"
    The usage of the word extremism here is out of place because religious extremists has not attacked any of our resorts yet. This is typical scaremongering typically used in media to gain more readership as fear sells. Yes we do have a problem with law and order with armed gangs getting more violent each day but they are not motivated by religious dogma but by rather lack of it.

    Another last point is that most guests identify and sympathise with staff when they know that the employers deal unfairly with staff. We have queries from guests who asks for list of employers who are known to deal unfairly with staff so that they can keep a list of 'bad hotels' to boycott their holiday... Of course we do not want guests to boycott any resorts, we only want resort owners and management to realise that where just grievances are raised by the workers, it is important to address the issues rather than ignore it and persecute those who raise the issues.

    Salaams. keep in touch



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