The Sheraton Grand Conakry, where a long-standing labour dispute over the firing of the two elected trade union leaders is continuing, announced in December 2021 that it would close indefinitely due to a mold contamination. Since the announcement of the hotel’s closure, IUF affiliate FHTRC-ONSLG and the workers have sent delegations to the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Tourism to demand that the Guinean government intervene on their behalf. The union has also submitted a petition to the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Dutch Development Bank (FMO), key investors in the hotel, as well as to Marriott, the operator of the hotel, demanding that workers’ wages and health care be fully covered during the hotel’s closure and that workers have the right to return to their jobs when the hotel reopens.
- After a year of actions demanding the reinstatement of the two elected union leaders, on October 26, 2021, workers at the Sheraton Grand Conakry submitted a strike notice demanding reinstatement of their union leaders and respect for the freedom of association
- When the parties could not come to an agreement, union delegates announced to the membership on December 7 their intent to declare a strike; three days later, on December 10, management announced to workers that due to a mold contamination, the entire hotel would close for repairs
- While initially the hotel provided no information about the terms of the layoffs, after protests and press coverage, the hotel agreed to pay 30% of the workers’ wages during the closure; subsequent mobilizations have pushed management to increase pay to 50% during the closure, but workers continue to mobilize for full pay
IUF General Secretary Sue Longley stated, “The silence from the IFC, FMO and Marriott is deafening. Workers are struggling to make ends meet while the development banks and the largest hotel company in the world do nothing. We demand action and justice for the workers at the Sheraton Grand Conakry.”