That was a comment by a recent guest to Kurumba who actually witnessed the strike action in Kurumba writing in Trip Advisor site. The guest mentions that the management of the hotel made no effort to explain the situation and that they (the guests) do not blame the staff for protesting against their poor facilities. They just believed that it should have been handled better by Universal the company that owns the island.
These are just typical lines of thinking by average guests and hotel managements shall be wary of thinking they scored points against protesting staff after intimidating them to end their legitimate strike by using security forces on made up charges. The sympathies of the guests are invariably with the staff when its known that the employer ill treats them. In the case of recent Kurumba strike, there was very little the management can, even if it tried to explain to the guests what caused the strikes in the first place because it would have raised more questioned than it would have answered.
The bottom line is that there is no excuse for not addressing the legitimate concerns of the staff because in the long run its far more cost effective to well treat the staff than to be mean with them. Kurumba certainly has played dual personality of the mean employer to the staff and the ever so gentle hotelier for the guests for too long. Now is the time to discard the dual personae and come clean like a civilized hotelier.
Read the story of the Kurumba strike at Asian Food Worker
Recent news from Kurunmba village is that the resort is shutdown for business and the guests has been relocated to other resorts while some guests who opted to cut short their holidays have departed to their countries. Its reported that the whole team of employees are on strike.
The strike was called by the staff who cite ill treatment by the management, poor food and accommodation arrangements, intimidation at work, deception on service charge payout among a long list of grievances. The list of staff grievances were submitted to the top management which was only able to promise better food and accommodation “in the future” and that the pay structure and service charge payout arrangements were said to stand as it is. It shall be noted that the main demands of the workers are better pay and the management failed to acknowledge just that.
Universal Group of hotels which operates Kurunba is notorious for its treatment of workers and its commonly acknowledged fact that workers will apply for job there if other attempts fail at securing a job at other better international brands of resorts where conditions are better. The sad fact of the times is that Kurunba Village despite being the first resort to open in the Maldives, has not learned the lessons from its history. Namely that staff are the most valuable asset a service business has and its indicative of the fact that the resorts occupancy fell to 0% from 85% just one day after the strike action began.
Following the story in many places (mentioned below) its amazing to learn how the management of Kurumba Village is out of touch with reality in terms of seeing the staff as a team and all the modern adjectives associated with team work etc. Grudging basic necessities such as air conditioning to staff in these five-star resorts to staff is beyond belief in this age and time in these world class resorts. This is all more bizarre that other 2 star and star-less resorts are able to provide better services and better pay to staff than kurnmba which is run by the biggest business group in the country.
Follow the story in these links:
A very relevant point one reader commented in Haveeru is that the cause of the strike have much less to do with the demands the staff has given to the management but to the policies of the managing company Par Aquam (A partner company of Universal) and how it deals with the staff. The writer states that the company introduces haphazard policies to staff and require immediate compliance, and the management company sidelines loyal staff who have served the company many long years infavour of their friends or acquaintances who take over those jobs (which is where the discrimination factor is). Generally the writer alleges the strike can soley be blamed on the management company’s attitude to staff rather than anything else.
Elsewhere talking to MNBC One, Mp.Easa the Tourism Employees Association’s president stated that the demands the demonstrating staff put to the management were actually rights enshrined in the labour law which cannot be compromised or talked over. Easa maintained these are not favours for the management to give but rights the staff are entitled.