Members of the IUF-affiliated FSPM continue to hold protest actions demanding the reinstatement of 12 unfairly terminated union leaders and members, including the union president. They were terminated in retaliation for reporting labour rights violations at the hotel.
International Day of Democracy 2021 posters: Accor and Hilton must stop financing Myanmar’s military junta
Posters in English, Japanese, Thai, Khmer, Indonesian, Hindi, Chinese, Urdu, Bengali and Myanmar languages.
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See The military coup in Myanmar is business as usual for Accor [3 Feb 2021] and “Hilton Hotels Corp and PTT Oil and Retail (PTTOR) in business with Myanmar military cartel”, Justice for Myanmar, 3 March 2021.
On August 26, workers at Courtyard by Marriott in Bandung launched protest actions in response to the unfair termination of 15 workers including the union president.
Although management claims the terminations were for “efficiency” reasons, their dismissal followed the union’s request to the Manpower Department (labour department) to investigate violations of labour regulations at the hotel.
In April 2020 the union and Courtyard management negotiated an agreement on wage reductions during the temporary closure of the hotel. Union members agreed to temporary wage cuts in return for job security during the pandemic. Eventually it was agreed that workers would receive 50% of their basic salary during the temporary shutdown. Although management indicated in May 2020 they might impose temporary layoffs, the union opposed this and reported it to the Manpower Department. Management then maintained the terms of the agreement.
From August to December 2020 the temporary wage reduction was continued, but management first had to pay unpaid wages for May to July. The war arrears were eventually paid.
However in January 2021 management then broke the agreement by unilaterally imposing further wage cuts. Without any transparency or justification, the new round of wage reductions varied in the different departments of the hotel. This was as much as 70% in some departments. As the union had pointed out in April 2020, 50% of the basic wage is already less than the legal minimum wage. Now management was unilaterally cutting this further.
Management also abolished the weekly day off and overtime pay. Instead of overtime pay workers would receive two days off. All three of these unilateral changes violate labour regulations. After management refused to respond to requests by the union to reverse these changes and negotiate other changes that could help to reduce costs, the union reported the violations to the Manpower Department on 15 June. On 8 July the labour department carried out an inspection of the hotel to verify these violations and met with union members. Three weeks later management summoned 12 union members, including the union president, to a meeting and announced layoffs due to “efficiency”.
Of those issued with termination notices 12 union members, including the union president, refused to accept it since there was no negotiation with the union to explain the criteria for redundancies or the efficiency issues behind it. On 5 August the union made a proposal that the company offer voluntary early retirement, stop using outsourced contract workers, and stop hiring new employees. Management ignored this and pushed ahead with the terminations.
In a meeting on 12 August, the union reminded the management of the sacrifice union members already made to help the business through this difficult time. Workers endured pay cuts for one and a half years, pushing them below the legal minimum wage and well below a living wage. This sacrifice was in return for job security. Now management’s actions have taken that job security away.
Also, by terminating the elected union president, management has denied all union members their right to union representation. This further undermines job security and rights at Courtyard by Marriott in Bandung.
Working in luxury, living in poverty. Naga World Hotel Casino workers face more poverty after mass redundancies.
After years of working in the luxurious Naga World Hotel Casino complex in Phnom Penh, over 1,300 workers were thrown out in a mass redundancy program.
Naga Corp, “one of the world’s most profitable gaming companies, and the largest gaming entertainment company in the Mekong Region“, claims the drastic cuts were necessary due to economic hardship.
But the real economic hardship is faced by workers who were already among the working poor due to low wages and the refusal of the company to bargain wages with the union, LRSU.
With wage cuts and non-payment of wages during the pandemic, workers ended up deeper in poverty. Now their forced redundancy has driven them even further into poverty and debt.
Please support the unfairly terminated workers at Naga World Hotel Casino by sending a protest message to the company. Click here to go to the IUF urgent action page to add your outrage and to demand decency!
While the Nepal tourism industry faces a crisis in the ongoing global pandemic, trade unions in Nepal active in the hotel sector succeeded in defending the jobs and livelihoods of hotel and tourism workers. The active unions, including the IUF-affiliated Nepal Independent Hotel Workers Union [NIHWU], negotiated an agreement with the Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN) to guarantee the job security of hotel workers.
The agreement, which covers a one year period from January 1 to December 31, 2021, guarantees that no hotel workers will be laid off.
“We secured jobs as our first priority. So even those not working at all will still keep their jobs,” said Surya Bahadur, President NIHWU. “When the lock-down is over and business returns to normal, hotel workers will not need to search for jobs with rising unemployment. They will return to work, which is their right.”
Under the agreement hotel workers will also be paid wages according to a schedule of days worked. Any worker working more than fifteen days in a month will receive the full monthly wage.