Employees resign from a Universal resort

Thursday, 12 March 2009 08:28

A group of employees working at a Universal enterprise resort have resigned, claiming resort’s management had failed to implement the labour rights enshrined in the Employment Act.

Staff have said over 17 employees have resigned from Kuramathi resort since Friday, but Ibrahim Ali, the resident manager, has said the figure is eight.

Before resigning, close to 80 local employees staged a four-day strike from the 2 March, protesting against the management’s alleged violation of their rights in areas such as salary, accommodation, working hours and overtime. The resort employs around 350 Maldivian staff.

Hassan Rizmeen, who worked as a valet at Kuramathi, said he quit on Friday along with 11 other employees. He added a further five employees handed in their notice the following day.

Rizmeen said he had demanded a pay hike as he was being paid US$296 a month, which was not enough to cover the needs of his wife and one-month-old baby.

“They didn’t care about our strike or our demands and they didn’t appreciate our work,” he said. “So we all decided that resignation was the best solution.”

Abdul Hafeeu Ibrahim, who worked as a member of the boat crew, said he had campaigned for more than three months to secure his rights but finally decided to give up. “They never paid me for extra working hours and allowances,” he said.

Earlier this month Abdul Latheef, resort general manager denied the allegations, claiming the resort had been adhering to the rights stipulated in the Employment Act.

Resident manager Ali said the letter of resignation handed in by employees did not mention any specific complaints or express staff members’ dissatisfaction. “We try our best to provide job satisfaction,” he said. “Or else, we wouldn’t have many employees.”

Another member of the boat crew, who wished to remain anonymous, said although their salaries were not increased, resort management had taken measures to improve their accommodation after the strike.

“Now they have provided us new mattress, and the rooms are kept in a good condition,” he said.

The Employment Act came into force in October 2008, bringing a number of first-time rights including a limit to weekly working hours and a minimum wage.

Since the Act came into effect, many resort employees have gone on strike demanding that their rights be implemented.



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