Local staff at a Maldives resort have not been paid for two months and fear they will not be paid this month either.
The workers at Eriyadhoo resort spoke anonymously to VFP, saying no reason had been given for the delay. They were told they would be paid “very soon” each time they complained to management.
“We asked last week when we would be paid,” VFP quoted an employee as saying. “We were told Thursday. When we asked on Thursday they said on the 11th. But we don’t know as the last time they said the same thing too and we didn’t get paid.”
Only some of the local staff were given the mandatory MVR3,000 (US$195) Ramadan bonus. Staff have also complained about missing out on the service charge.
The Maldives Independent contacted the resort Wednesday but the HR manager’s phone was disconnected and reception asked for an email to be sent to the general manager.
VFP had also tried to get comment from the resort but with no response.
A resort worker told the Maldives Independent that the staff WIFI had been disconnected for two weeks and it was hard to use mobile data because people had not been paid. The worker added that foreign staff were affected by the payment delays.
The Tourism Employees Association of the Maldives earlier this week called for a trade union law to be passed, a bigger share of resort jobs to be allocated to Maldivians, resort shares to be given to resort workers and the introduction of a flat service charge.
It also wants a set minimum wage of US$600 for Maldivian resort and safari workers. TEAM tried to contact the resort too, but there was no answer.
There are 27,837 Maldivians working in resorts, representing around 14 percent of the total workforce, according to the last census.
Some resorts charge upwards of thousands of dollars a night and tourism accounts for one-third of economic output, making them huge money-spinners for the country.
This story has been updated.