We’re Not Closing: InterContinental
InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa commenced a five day consultation process with workers yesterday over a provisional decision to lay off 483 workers.
The five-star resort will however remain open, while it works on redundancies.
“We are not closing,” general manager Lachlan Walker said in response to queries from SunBiz about letters issued to staff over the “potential termination for redundancy.”
“We do remain partially open and repairs will continue.”
Out of bounds
The Club Lounge and club rooms are closed, along with some guest rooms, restaurants and retail space pending repairs after Tropical Cyclone Harold.
InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa and the Holiday Inn Suva are InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) members.
Holiday Inn Suva remains open. Both properties are among major resorts and hotel properties owned by Fiji National Provident Fund. The fund in turn contracts management to global brands such as IHG and Marriott.
FNPF chief executive officer Jaoji Koroi said he will respond today to questions over the matter.
“The resort has had to make some difficult choices with all stakeholders to reduce costs and protect our business for the long-term,” said area director human resources South Pacific Biu Waqaniburotu. The resort has reached a provisional decision to reduce its workforce because of the significant downturn in business arising from the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, he said.
Expatriate and management salaries were reduced among other contingencies the resort took at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, he said.
“Our employees that were stood down were supported and assisted,” Mr Waqaniburotu said.
The stood down workers were assisted from April 6 to June 13.
However, the lack of indication over the reopening of international borders, and predictions that visitors may not return until 2021, compelled management to reduce the hotel workforce, he said.
Management in a letter to staff said the resort may not see visitors until 2022, “or even 2023”.
Mr Waqaniburotu said a final decision over a pay out to workers hinged on a 30-day consultation process that began with workers yesterday.
Staff consultations are expected to conclude on Thursday, July 9, 2020.
In a letter to staff dated July 2, 2020, InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa said they were open to ideas about ways to avoid termination.
The letter also asked employees to suggest ways to lessen the impact of termination.
“We will give serious consideration to whatever you might say to us before we make our final decision,” the letter said.
All written correspondence are expected no later than Tuesday, July 5, 2020, the letter said.
Redundancy pay out was set at one week’s wages for every year of service.
Other entitlements will be added to the final pay out, from which staff debts to the hotel will be deducted. “Money you owe the company will be deleted from final entitlements,” the letter said.
InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa had initiated a weekly relief advance scheme for staff at the onset of the pandemic.
Outstanding sums from the scheme will be recovered from staff in the final pay out, the letter said.
In recent days, Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay, another FNPFowned property, also announced its decision to hold consultations with workers over the way forward under the“new normal”.
InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa general manager Lachlan Walker.