Staff strike at Meedhupparu Island Resort, "We Will Close Down If Necessary": Resort Manager

Tuesday, 2 December 2008 08:13

As reported on Minivan News

A general manager of a luxury island resort has said on Monday it will close down if necessary after all local employees stopped working to demand implementation of labour rights in a recent Employment Act.

Over 100 of the staff at Meedhupparu Island Resort went on strike in the latest of a wave of protests across the industry over the past month.

General Manager Mohamed Mahdy told Minivan News on Monday that the resort will dismiss all employees who refuse to return to work because they had not given hotel management official warning prior to the strike.

“Up until now they have not given us any written requests or demands. To hold a strike there are certain conditions, but they just didn’t come to work,” he has said.

“Yes of course we will terminate 100 people if we have to. If we have to we will close down the resort,” he added.

But Ibrahim Rasheed, a room boy at the resort, has said hotel management were given plenty of notice about the strike.

“We have spoken to the management about this for the past five months. We have told them that we will strike if we don’t get our demands,” he said.

“We have been meeting with them for three nights now. This evening we met with them and they noted down our demands and said that they would give us an answer by tomorrow morning,” he added.

According to Mahdy, the management at Meedhupparu are unsure as to why their employees are refusing to work.

He has said the resort is in full compliance with the Employment Act.

“They are saying how the management are treating them badly but they have not said specifically what we have done. I just don’t think it’s true,” he said.

Guests staying at the resort have been notified about the situation and Mahdy has claimed there have been no complaints.

“We can’t hide this because it’s happening all over the Maldives. The whole tourism industry’s going to suffer,” he said.

“There will be a series of strikes because there has been a change of mindset with the youth in the tourism industry,” he added.

Mahdy said the government should be responsible for the disputes since it did not give enough time to managers to be prepared for the Employment Act.

“They have to look at the Employment Act again and consult with the resort operators and all the strike leaders,” he said.

Meanwhile, over 200 employees have begun a hunger strike at One and Only Resort, on the fourth day of their strike which started on Friday morning.

And workers at Kihaadhuffaru Resort have on Monday handed management a petition outlining their demands, according to staff.

Reservations assistant Mohamed Shamin has said that employees will go on strike if their requests are not met by 4 December.

President of Tourism Employees Association Maldives Ahmed Easa, who has organised many of the strikes, has said that industrial action has so far proven to be the only successful avenue available.

Trying to resolve disputes through the government and businesses has proved futile, he argues.

“Problems from other resorts such as Cinnamon and Manafaru have been solved through protests. There’s no doubt about it that going on strike is the best way to solve this problem,” he said on Sunday.

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