The management of a local 5-star hotel has refuted reports that it has strained relations with its employees.
On March 27, 2022, ANN broke the story that a local 5-Star resort in St. Vincent and the Grenadines- SVG, told its workers not to speak to the media about issues they are facing.
In a follow-up story on March 29, ANN reported, based on information from former employees at the hotel, that issues of nonpayment of wages and questionable working conditions were affecting workers.
ANN met with the management of the hotel recently for an exclusive interview where they addressed some of the issues.
Here is a point-by-point breakdown of the claims by recent former employees and management’s response:
“When there is bad publicity for any company it is not just the individuals that suffer.” stated management when interviewed by ANN’s Asbert Williams about the ongoing negative complaints made by ex-coworkers at the LaVue Hotel.
Workers hanging at other establishments while clocked in
When asked about a recent incident that took place with 5 male coworkers who say that they were unfairly dismissed, management responded to the allegations by informing the reporter that the workers who were to assist the chef in meal preparation were spotted at the “tree bar” relaxing while they already “clocked in.”
One manager expressed her disappointment by calling such actions “plain and simple fraud”.
The manager went on further to mention that this was not the first time but rather the first time being caught hence why “they were fired immediately because it’s fraud and dishonesty.”
*Sick leave and probationary payment *
When the reporter asked about the complaints about sick leave and not getting paid for probation. The managers clarified that such alleged incidents are not true and they usually don’t pay for sick leave but will allow late medical records.
Both managers said that they pay above minimum wages set by government. They disclosed that the minimum wage set for waitresses is $7.50 [per hour] however, one manager stated “I’m happy to tell you our waitresses start at $9.50”.
When asked how would you rate your customer service, General Manager Jayann Dunbar mentioned that they were still doing a lot of training in customer service specifically for serving, guest interaction, knowledge on food and food paring. She later added “ It’s stuff that can be better but most of our reviews are positive.”
*Company paying utilities *
When approached about the company having problems paying bills such as the electricity, CWSA, NIS, management denied all claims and stated that they don’t think that they are that “fortunate”. One manager answered in an rhetorical manner expressing the rumored allegations. “ how would you not pay NIS?” “I made sure that we submitted from the start of October.”
When asked if they targeted their revenue expectations. They disclosed that they could not answer the question.
Workers’ Transportation Deductions
Earlier reports claimed that workers spoke about being underpaid and that transportation is overly deducted from pay.
In response to this, management told ANN they do provide transportation for workers from the windward and leeward side between hours when public transportation is dormant. They said, “the vans are subsided by the company.” The workers pay regular passage fair and can either pay upfront to the driver or have their money deducted.
Long probabtions and no breaks
When asked about the prolonged probation alleged by ex-workers, management explained that workers were not ready for the workforce so they continued training. Management also states that workers were paid for training even before the resort was open .
When the reporter addressed claims that management deprived workers of 45 minutes break due to no proper dining accommodations and staff meal, management said that headquarters are being built and that staff were informed about such shortage. They further stated that no complaints were made to them privately.