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GPH Boss: Disgruntled Ex-workers Behind Claims

GPH Boss: Disgruntled Ex-workers Behind Claims
Grand Pacific Hotel, where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be hosted to a State dinner by the Fijian President Major-General (Retired) Jioji Konrote.
May 10
09:37 2015

The international manager of one of the country’s top hotels is denying claims local staff are being harassed.

The complaints, he says, are coming from disgruntled former employees who were terminated for failing to meet required standards.

The issue now involves the Labour Minister, the Labour department and the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre.

Grand Pacific Hotel, Suva, general manager Eugene Diethelm is currently in New Zealand. But he said he was aware of the claims about him and his management team who were brought in to launch the new high-standard GPH.

Mr Diethelm – who has run leading hotels in Europe, Africa and Asia and has master’s qualifications from hotel schools in Switzerland and the United States of America – said:

“We have always done what is needed. People will be terminated if they do not do their work well. These allegations are coming from disgruntled employees who have been let go. Many of these employees have had bad track records previously.”

The Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Jioji Konrote, said he would investigate a complaint lodged with him by a former worker, Makereta Mafili.

He met  Ms Mafili on Friday and said he would look into the situation.

“I will talk to my people and get to the bottom of this,” he said.

Ms Mafili said she had been terminated by Mr Diethelm.

She said she was accused of lodging a complaint to the Labour department, which she strongly refuted.

Ms Mafili said she asked the general manager if he could give her a good reason since she had been doing her job well, She claimed in her letter of complaint that the general manager swore and fired her.

Ms Mafili also alleged that rice was shoved into the mouth of a worker in the kitchen by another senior expatriate.

Ms Mafili claimed she was also speaking on behalf of other workers who did not want to be identified.

The Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre confirmed it is representing the interests of some of those who are complaining.

Coordinator Shamima Ali called it quite shocking the way women working at the hotel were allegedly treated,

She said: “The fact that they have gone from pillar to post, going to the media, the Labour Department, the Police Commissioner and yet allegedly the case has been investigated so the question is who are we protecting here the employees or the employer?”

Meanwhile, Mr Diethelm also responded to claims that when staff called in sick, the hotel would send human resources staff to check on the authenticity of this.

Mr Diethelm said: “Yes, we do that. It is just courtesy visit we do to the homes of staff who are sick. The hotel is not breaking any laws.

“In fact some months back one staff had boxed our HR manager and her husband had boxed me and broke my glasses.”

Mr Diethelm said he would shed more light on the matter when he returns to Suva.

Feedback:  stella.moresio@fijisun.com.fj

 

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