By MUHAMMED Sailu BAH
Management told the staff that it is to undergo renovation and the staff of the hotel are appealing to the government to intervene in order to protect their jobs.
This was announced by the current Libyan Acting General Manager of the Hotel by the Name Abdullah El Omurani during a general emergency staff meeting summoned by the management held on Thursday 5 November 2015 at the Hotel conference hall. This meeting was a gathering which was attended by over 150 staff of the Hotel out of the 200 plus staff.
During the meeting the Acting General Manager Abdullah El Omurani announced to the general staff that the Hotel would be undergoing renovation for a Period of 8 Months starting from December 2015 to around August 2016. In addition he told the staff that they should be staying at home during this period in which the Hotel will be paying only their basic salaries.
“All Laico hotels owned by Libyans within the world are asked by the European Union and the United Nations to cease operations because of the current situation in Libya,” he disclosed.
The staff on their part said that this new development will really affect them, as a result most of these staff who are seasonal workers and served the hotel for more than 9 years will not be receiving any Salaries and will become Jobless.
A seasonal worker said he has been working for the hotel for more than 9 years and has never been staffed. He further noted that despite working for many hours and many years his Salary never increased and it remains stagnant.
He further asked Management whether they would be taking care of them when the hotel renovation starts as they are long serving seasonal staff. The Acting General Manager in response told him that he doesn’t know yet but he would forward the matter to the main Laico office in Libya.
Some of the staff also expressed doubts regarding the announcement made by the Management, and they said this is a very strange thing which had never happened before.
They disclosed that hotel renovations in the Gambia only happen during off seasons, but not this time of the year when the season is just starting.
The staff also blamed the management for the late information, and lamented the poor management of the Hotel since it was taken over by the Libyans (Laico Company).
The Staff said that they have been denied incentives such as bonuses, service benefits, and capacity building activities among many other things which they were benefiting from in the previous years before the intervention of the Laico Company from Libya.
A staff asked why management is saying there is not enough money when they have installed security cameras all over and have bought expensive vehicles for only the foreign staff who are Libyans.
After the meeting which lasted for almost two hours, this reporter went further to speak with some of the staff. A woman who is a staff for 19 years expressed opinion that management is using a trick to fool them in order to avoid paying their services they rendered for many years. She calls on the government to intervene before matters get worse for them as Jobless people.
Similar comments were echoed by few other people who also said that management only considers the wellbeing of their foreign staff but not the Gambian staff.
A senior staff intimated to this reporter that foreign staff are paid 3000 US dollars every month while they as staff are paid less than D3000 after Tax deductions.