The Trade Union Congress (TUC) and other unions in the tourism and hotel industry have rejected the plan by some notable hotels in the country to owe workers’ salaries under the pretext of COVID-19 pandemic.
The unions said they are already engaging the managements of the hotels from their deliberate attempt to owe workers, March and April salaries.
President of the Hotel and Personal Service Senior Staff Association (HAPSSSA), Adegbe Iyeh, said some employers in the industry are taking some actions contrary to industrial relations rules, which may jeopardize industrial peace in the sector.
He maintained that one of the hotels failed to pay the March salary for its workers, while it also directed them to go on forced three months leave without pay.
He disclosed that another, which operates in Lagos and Abuja, also indicated that it would not pay April salary to the workers.
The Labour scribe, who said the action is not acceptable to the union, noted that it is against the collective bargaining agreement, which the management of the hotels are signatory to.
According to him, “The hotels up till the time of the lockdown by the Federal Government were fully booked and making good business wondering why they have to owe workers now.
“It is odious and shows how insensitive the employers are on to the workers. There is a condition of service, which says that the employers cannot send workers to go home without paying them. What do they want them to live on? Do they have any other means of livelihood?,” he queried.
Iyeh maintained that it was a ploy to undermine the interest of the workers, who have been the major contributors to the success of the organisations over the years.
He said: “Workers are the backbone of any organisation, they supposed to be the most valuable asset of the organisation and not expected to be treated with levity. I don’t know what these organisations want their workers to eat while the lockdown last. As such we have mandated the hotels to pay our members, failure which may receive damn consequences.
“All the employers who are not ready to pay their workers, taken advantage of this period should know that very soon by the grace of God the pandemic will be over and the business will resume and then we as a union, we will let them know that we are the pillars behind their success in business.