Maldives tourism industry has been rocked by the recent protests demanding compliance to the new Labor Law which was enacted just prior to the country’s new constitution and the October Presidential Elections. The leading representative body of the tourism industry employees in the forefront fighting for tourism sector employees has been TEAM – the Tourism Employees Association of Maldives.
Team was the key lobby behind the action that forced the then government to propose an amendement to the Tourism Act days after it was enacted into law. The amendment included the tourism industry workers in basic rights such as the forty-eight-hour working week of maximum six working days.
TEAM has been voicing their concerns over alleged non-compliance by hotel-resort managements since the amendment. A strike by workers on the luxury resort of One and Only Reethi Rah and the subsequent engagement of riot police with the protesters on the request of the management got the President involved in the issue.
Now, all of a sudden and out of the blues, Haveeru Daily Online has reported that the Tourism Workers Union represented by its two lawyers has said in a press briefing today, that the timing of the strikes by tourism sector employees for rights is not happening at the right time. The lawyers said that the first step should be to create an environment to resolve disputes through negotiations. The lawyers also reportedly said that the best way for the workers is to leave the resorts and give the employers a lesson.
TEAM President Ahmed Easa is reported to have said, “Problems from other resorts such as Cinnamon and Manafaru have been solved through protests. There’s no doubt about it that going on strike is the best way to solve this problem.” (Minivan News)
Haveeru did not say who is behind the Tourism Workers Union, though the article creates a sense of curiosity as to its motive in coming into the seen right now the way it did! The article does not say that these lawyers were employees of the industry or represented persons who wanted to act behind the scenes.