Handhufushi staff begin strike to protest against delay in getting paid

Thursday, 8 January 2009 19:48

Haveeru

The staff of Handhufushi Resort, managed by Yacht Tours, went on strike on Wednesday to protest against delays in receiving their wages.

The resort workers began their strike around 7:30am yesterday, saying that that had not received their salaries and bonus allowance money. They said that they would continue their strike until they received the payments.

Gathered in front of the Human Resource Department office, the staff members called for the resignation of the senior officials of the resort management and for their salaries to be given to them as soon as possible. There are reports that some of the foreign employees working at the resort are also taking part in the strike.

“We were forced to go on strike not only due to the delay in getting paid, but because we have no idea when or if we’ll even get paid,” an employee from the resort told Haveeru on condition of anonymity. “It’s not just last month’s salary we have not received; we haven’t received the bonus allowance money for the last three months either. There are even some foreign employees who haven’t received their salaries and bonus money for the last two months.”

The employees said yesterday that officials from the Human Resource Department of the resort had met with them to discuss the matter and assure them that the payments will be made within the day. They had also requested the staff to return to work.

According to reports there are currently 200 or so tourists staying at the resort.

“We can’t believe it even if they say that the salaries will be deposited before the banks close today,” another employee on strike said. “They have been saying that over and over but it never happens. This time we have decided not to end the strike before we get paid. Either that or they give us in writing a date and time when the payments will be made. In truth it’s really difficult for us that this has happened. Only a few days remain for the schools to open. How can we buy the school supplies for the children if we aren’t paid?”

The Tourism Employee Association of Maldives (TEAM) has said that they had received numerous complaints from the employees of the resort regarding the resort administration ever since Yacht Tours took over the management of the resort.

The management of the resort has however denied that there are any delays in paying their employees and insisted that they had always made all the payments, including the Rf1000 bonus, on time even during when the MTDC had managed the resort. The General Manager of the resort, Ibrahim Rasheed, said that they try very hard to ensure that their employees were paid as soon as possible.

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