Maldivian staff working at Alidhoo Resort in Haa Alifu Atoll have declared themselves on strike claiming that the management of the resort had not paid them salary for last month.
The resort is operated by Yacht Tours, owned by local businessman and former MP Abdulla Jabir.
“It is almost the end of this month and Ramadan is coming up – we have to send money to our families back on the islands and we are really broke,” said a staff member working in the resort.
He claimed allowances of the staffs working in the resort had not been paid for the last three months, including service charge and overtime.
“Last week we spoke with the management about our salaries and they said we will be paid today, and today they said they will pay us next Monday,” he said. “Now we are not very confident with this management so we have decided to continue this strike until they pay us.”
The management first told staff that the payments were delayed because the chairman of the company was not in the Maldives, he continued.
“When he came back, they said the banks were not giving money to the resorts – how can we believe them now?” the staff member said.
He claimed that expatriates working on the island had not received their salaries for the past three months.
“They want to join us in the strike but they fear that they might be fired and sent back to their countries,” he said, adding that the expats were supporting the strike although they were not physically involved.
Vice President of Tourism Employees Association of Maldives (TEAM) Mauroof Zakir told Minivan News that TEAM was not officially involved in the strike.
“TEAM has decided not to participate in any strike that is conducted without informing TEAM prior to the commencement of the strike,” Mauroof said. “However, we have given Alidhoo staff instructions.”
Mauroof said TEAM made the decision in a recent meeting because “whenever the strike reaches an uncontrollable status, that’s when the staff see TEAM, and when it reaches that situation it is very hard for us to solve the issues.”
Chairman of Yatch Tours Abdulla Jabir told Minivan News that the delay was caused because he was not in town.
“It will be arranged sometime today,” he said. “The payments were delayed because I was not here.”