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Lawmakers at a 'Deadlock' With Grand Mirage

Efforts by Local Parliamentarians and Manpower Office to Avert Layoffs Resisted by Hotel's Owning Company.

(6/23/2003) A meeting convened by the Regional Parliament of Badung (south Bali) between the Management of the 145-room Grand Mirage Resort in Tanjung Benoa and representatives of Bali's Department of Manpower to discuss plans to formally terminate 135 of the hotel's employees came to an impasse on Friday, June 20, 2003.

Efforts by the Parliamentarians and Manpower officials to urge PT Samudera Mahkota Beach, the owners of the hotel, to reconsider plans to terminate the staff members made little progress during the course of the special meeting.

On May 7th the hotel's management announced that the hotel would be closed from May 12th until at least June 30, 2003, due to the poor guest numbers staying at the hotel. Subsequent to the decision to close the resort and in accordance with local law, which requires formal approval from the Manpower Department before permanent employees can be terminated, the hotel petitioned to release 135 staff by paying Rp. 1.3 billion (approximately US$ 158,500) in severance benefits to those affected.

According to reports in the local press, a representative of the owning company resisted efforts by lawmakers at the Friday meeting to compel the company to reconsider its position, saying that the Owners wished to wait for a final decision from the Manpower Office on their application for termination approval.

Underlying Disharmony

A report in the Indonesian-language Bali Post on Saturday, June 21, 2003, indicated that in addition to the reduced tourist numbers that precipitated the closing of the hotel, there also apparently exists a basic disharmony between members of the hotel's management and the staff scheduled for termination. A representative of the hotel's owning company was quoted as saying "we see that the disharmony has reached such a state that it would be difficult to re-establish good cooperation (between the employee and the hotel's management)."

Further supporting the view that the termination may be largely connected to an internal conflict between management and the affected staff was an announcement by the Grand Mirage Resorts on June 19th, one day prior to the meeting with lawmakers, that the Resort plans to resume full operations as of July 28, 2003.

 

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