Reethi Rah workers strike over alleged discrimination

Over ninety percent of Maldivian workers at the One & Only Reethi Rah resort are taking part in ongoing strikes in protest against perceived ill-treatement by management.

The strike was called following the management’s failure to meet employees to discuss concerns regarding discrimination against local workers, the Tourism Employment Association of Maldives (TEAM) has confirmed.

Secretary General Mauroof Zaki confirmed that the issues included allegations of discriminatory pay and racism against local staff – including unequal benefits and promotions. Mauroof stated that senior management at the resort had refused to take the concerns of staff seriously.

“Because of these issues the majority of staff raised these issues with the management and the management response was not very productive,” said Mauroof.

He revealed that staff had visited the rooms of senior management yesterday evening but were unable to gain a response – leading the “frustrated” staff to call for a strike.

The Maldives Resort Workers blog today reported that management at the resort had “again taken the weary route of resorting to ask help from ‘higher’ authorities rather than engaging with the workers.”

“Police teams have been send to dissuade the staff from protesting and it appears that staff have been given ultimatum to stop the demo as of today,” today’s post added.

A police spokesperson confirmed that a team had been dispatched to the resort but declined to provide further details.

Human Resources Manager at Reethi Rah Manish Sadhu acknowledged that the strike was ongoing, but stated that police had arrived simply as a security precaution – describing the situation as calm.

When asked about the strikers complaints of discrimination, Manish stated that there was there were no such issues present in the resort.

Manish said that the management was now meeting with the striking workers.

Whilst not officially endorsed by TEAM, Mauroof stated that the organisation was prepared to assist Reethi Rah’s workers and was currently mediating between the parties.

Despite restrictions placed on the right to strike by the 2012 Freedom of Assembly Bill, Mauroof maintained that the option to strike was a human right, protected by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

“It is not for police to intervene until anything illegal happens.”

Mauroof himself stated that he himself would happily join the striking workers as his own personal dispute with the company remains unresolved, in relation to what he maintains was the termination of his employment as a result of his union activities.

Two executive TEAM members were detained by police when attempting to board a staff ferry to Reethi Rah following the High Court’s overruling of their earlier dismissal.


Victim missing following speedboat crash found dead

The body of a person missing following a speedboat accident on Sunday has been discovered, police said.

Police identified the person as Dhaudh Mohamed, 28, from the island of Kulhudhufushi in Haa Dhaalu Atoll.

According to police Dhaudh was discovered yesterday at about 5:58pm during a search.

The Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) coast guard said the dead body was discovered by divers near the Reethi Rah resort.

In a statement issued yesterday, police said they were informed that one person was missing from the speedboat at 3:00pm yesterday.

The marine police department and coast guard began searching for the missing person upon receiving the information he was missing.

Yesterday morning at 8:45am a speedboat travelling to Male’ from Reethi Rah collided with an oil tanker.

According to local newspapers, some of the passengers aboard the speedboat were critically injured and one passenger was reported to have been paralysed.

Newspaper ‘Haveeru’ reported alleged the captain of the speedboat was asleep when the accident took place. The paper reported that the captain of the speedboat was now under arrest.

The hospital and police have not provided information to any media regarding the injuries received to passengers.

Yesterday the police confirmed that an Indian and a Philippine national were among the eight injured in the accident.

Police said the eight victims were admitted to ADK and Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) and were receiving treatment.

Both vessels were damaged in the incident.

In December 2012, a collision between two speed boats left a Finnish tourist dead and nine other people injured.

The collision occurred between an express speedboat service to the island of Hulhumale’ – which is located near to the capital of Male’ – and another vessel belonging to the Bandos Island Resort and Spa property.

In January 2013 this year, five people received minor injuries in a collision between two ferry services travelling to and from the the islands of Hulhumale’ and Hulhule’.

In February 2010, 11 people were injured when a Hulhumale’ ferry travelling to Male collided with a speedboat coming to Male’ from the Rannaalhi resort with tourists aboard.