After closing in December 2021 due to water leaks and hazardous mould and following six months of temporary unemployment for its workforce, Sheraton Grand Conakry management has announced its plan to terminate the majority of workers until the hotel reopens. In government-mandated negotiations over the planned retrenchment, the hotel owner, Palma Guinea, and the operator, Marriott, refused to provide IUF affiliate FHTRC-ONSLG, or the Guinean government, with documentation describing the mould problem and the timeline for remediation. Despite the Guinean Labour Inspector and Ministry of Labour’s proposal to preserve employment by extending the “temporary unemployment” period for up to 2 years while the hotel is renovated, hotel management has refused to engage in good faith negotiations.
The union is calling on the IFC, Palma Guinea and Marriott to:
- Extend the workers’ temporary unemployment status until the hotel reopens
- Participate in an Emergency Relief Fund which would provide workers with the Guinean monthly minimum wage
- Guarantee the right of the existing workforce to return to their jobs when the hotel reopens
Maminata Camara, union delegate at the Sheraton Grand Conakry, stated: “Many of our co-workers are now facing months of unemployment. The result will be that families struggle to pay their rent, and some workers may become homeless. In addition, the school term is just beginning, and tuition fees are due. It’s terrible that our company won’t support us after so many years of service. I opened that hotel, I deserve better.”