Categorized | National News

30 Workers Fired From RIU Over Protest

Thirty employees from the Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island were fired Tuesday, a day after staging demonstrations outside the hotel protesting working conditions and demanding higher wages and gratuities.

Those former employees are now calling on the government to act on their behalf.

Attorney for the workers Glendon Rolle said a meeting was scheduled to take place between the workers legal representatives and management at the Riu Tuesday morning, but the meeting never happened.

Instead he said he was informed that the employees were being summarily dismissed.

The move seems to be in direct response to those employees staging that demonstration on Monday which some suggested may have been in breach of the Riu’s rules.

However, Attorney Rolle defended the actions of the employees.

“No one has abandoned their jobs, none of them ever left the premises,” he said. “They were well within their right to take their break and do whatever they chose to on their break. There is no agreement or no contractual agreement with any of the employees that they must remain on the premises, upon returning from their lunch breaks they were denied access to the premises.”

The terminated employees stood outside holding placards and shouting out for government intervention.

It was a small group and consisted mainly of the affected workers, though they insisted more people would come to stand with them.

Riu employees have been demanding improved working conditions and they are also seeking increased wages and benefits as well as the ability to join the union.

A union official who spoke with the disengaged workers called the hotel’s actions “union busting” and invited the workers to a meeting at Workers House.

Labour Minister Shane Gibson meantime addressed the issues at the Riu Tuesday morning and while he was unaware of this latest issue, he acknowledged that he has received several complaints from the hotel’s staff.

The minister expressed his hope for amicable resolution.

“It is unfortunate that workers would withdraw their labour without going through the proper channel – I have not seen any official trade dispute filed and that doesn’t mean that one hasn’t been filed, I just haven’t seen it,” Mr. Gibson said.

He also said, “I know that the [staff] has some serious concerns and representatives from the Department of Labour met with them on several occasions. My understanding is that things have reached a boiling point but hopefully management will sit down with workers and try to resolve all those outstanding issues.

The Journal made calls to Riu officials but those calls went unanswered.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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