Local workers of Sheraton have stopped work and are on strike citing service unbelievably low charge, discrimination against workers and nepotism. According to one worker in the island, the service charge has been around an unimpressive 600$ for most of the year including in the high season. This is in contrast to $2k and above in Kihaava Villas and other top resorts in the country. It’s strange that big brands like Sheraton could have got things so wrong in the middle of high season when everywhere resort workers are expected to earn substantial incomes. One worker opined that the resort feels immune from pressure because of the strong connections to the resort owners (Universal Group) with the ruling class.
The resort being developed by ADK group is about 70% complete and will be the newest and the biggest in Maldives. Once complete Gaakoshibee will have 673 rooms and would have cost 170 million dollars to the main investor Caprice Gold of Turkey. The project for the island has started in 2007 and gone through several plans and investors and this hopefully will be the last twist in the story till the island opens. The island is located in Shaviyani atoll in the north and will be 50 minutes from sea plane from Male airport. The resort will have an Islamic concept of tourism with separate secluded beach for ladies only, pool villas for couples and certified halal buffet from all the restaurants. The island will not sell any alcohol and will be family friendly.
Although we have several middle eastern tourists arriving in Maldives including royalties from Gulf states, a resort island for the Muslim tourist has been wanting for some time.
A workers strike has been going on in one and only Reethi Rah for more than one day and it appears that the employer has again taken the weary route of resorting to ask help from ‘higher’ authorities rather than engaging with the workers. A report on Mvyouth claims that as of 0300 today, the resort has refused to meet with the representatives of the workers to negotiate their demands. 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. The demands are as usual about salary, discrimination, poor accommodation etc. The number of workers who joined the protest is about 200.
It’s amazing how big employers like One and Only cannot manage simple demands like better food and accommodation and every so often strikes springs up in Reethi Rah.