Should join Maldives India


Workers and their union at Kerzner International Holdings' luxury facility One & Only Reethi Rah in the Maldives have been fighting anti-union tactics and management's refusal to enforce court rulings in favor of the union for six years.

In the face of abusive working conditions, low wages, corruption on the part of management, arbitrary transfers and the refusal of the management to enforce the new labor law, the employees of the hotel complex had joined the Association of Employees in the Tourism Industry of the Maldives (TEAM) in 2008 and tried to raise these issues with management. The latter, however, declined to discuss any issues and began bullying and intimidating union members. Deeply frustrated, union members stopped working on November 28, 2008 in protest. On the third day of the protest, the hotel management refused to negotiate with the workers and called in the police, who violently used batons and pepper spray against the peaceful workers' protest and arbitrarily arrested 13 leaders and members of the union and removed them from the island.

The hotel management then fired the 13 union members, including the union chairman, and attempted to ban the union. In June 2009, the Maldives Labor Court found the layoffs unjustified and unlawful and ordered their reinstatement and subsequent payment of all outstanding wages. The management refused and objected to the decision. The appeal was dismissed and her reinstatement was ordered in September 2011, which the hotel management again ignored. In September 2012, the court informed management that failure to comply with the order could result in the seizure of assets.

The outstanding wages were finally paid in 2013 by order of the judge, but the reinstatement of the dismissed was again refused. Hundreds of workers went back to work in January 2014 to reiterate their claims and complaints about the wages, discrimination, housing and other grievances that led to the union's creation in 2008. Management again refused to respond to the workers' demands and, like then, called on the police to end the protest.

In April 2014, 302 Reethi Rah employees signed a petition to management calling for the dismissed union members to be reinstated.