Written By: Observer Staff
Article Date: Nov 27, 2012 - 11:30:58 PM
Sheraton Hotel in Sana'a (Photo Courtesy: Sheraton)
The five-star Sheraton Hotel will end its 40-year service in Yemen starting from the end of this year 2012, the building will only be used as a diplomatic residence. Yemeni staff are demanding their rights to be "fully paid", said hotel officials.
Some 200 employees were notified by the hotel management that staff contracts were to be terminated with Sheraton at the beginning of next year 2013, said Muhammed Salim Omar, who claimed to be working as a debt manager at Sheraton. Salim said that the new management promised to employ 90 percent of the current staff but cited concerns about their rights in that they won't be fully paid and will be fired.
A Sheraton official denied the claim and said that the new management will 'fully pay' the staff and employ 90 percent of them. The Sheraton official, who declined to be named for not being authorized to talk to the press, said the new company replacing Sheraton is required to employ 90 percent of the current staff. "It's impossible that we would fire all staff," the Sheraton official said, "for the new company will definitely need them and will retain the best, of course."
Salim cited concerns that the Yemeni employees are not being paid the same as foreigners. He said that despite doing the same job as his predecessor, a foreigner, he does not enjoy the same payment and benefits. "His payment was about $4000," said Salim, "but I'm being paid $450." Salim said that all staff who have grievances have hired a lawyer who will take the matter to court if they aren't paid.
Sheraton has been allegedly fully reserved since May last year by the U.S. Embassy in Sana'a for its diplomats and Marines. The new company, according to both sources, will start working from the beginning of next year. The company will serve as a residence for diplomats including Americans, Salim said.
A version of this article appeared in Today's issue of Yemen Observer on November 26, 2012, on front page
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