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Labor Woes at Aston Bali Resort and Spa

Workers at Tanjung Benoa Aston Bali Resort and Spa Fight to Keep their Jobs and Benefits.

(7/27/2010) Tens of employees of Tanjung Benoa's Aston Bali Resort and Spa marched on the Badung Regency House of Representatives (DPRD-Badung) on Monday, June 28, 2010, demanding job protection following the bankruptcy of PT Dewata Royal International (DRI) - the former owners of the hotel.

As reported by Bali Post, the delegation of employees were led by representatives of the hotel's workers union. At the local parliament the group was received by the Chairman of the DPRD-Badung, I Made Sumer, a number of local legislators and representatives of the Manpower Department.

A union representative said the employees are rejecting efforts to terminate the employment of some 360 employees. He argued that despite the forced technical bankruptcy of the hotel by the bank holding its loans, the hotel itself is commercially successful with occupancies as high as 90 percent.

Sounding a similar tone, the Chairman of Bali Tourism Union (FSP BALI), I Wayan Wenen, said the problem at the Aston was capable of resolution and that the bankruptcy was largely an internal affair among the directors of the former and new owning companies. Explained Wenen: "We are professionals. We have no need to be involved in this conflict. There are many employees who are worried about their fate. Our desire is that whoever eventually ends up owning the hotel will allow us to continue to do our jobs."

Wenen is seeking protection from local lawmakers to allow the hotel's workers to continue their employment without a change of benefits, seniority or conditions of employment. Of particular concern is the promise of the new owning company and re-employ staff but to change their status to "new employees" by eliminating any seniority status afforded under Indonesian labor law.

Sumer told the press that the Aston Bali Resort and Spa is now under the ownership of a new company - PT Karya Teknik Hotelindo (KTH) who won the tender to take over the continuing operations of the hotel. KTH replaces DRI with the management of the property to remain under Aston Hotels. KTH has stated that they will re-employ staff released from their employment with the now defunct DRI. Employees will enjoy the same benefits except that the calculation of any in-service seniority benefits and future severance pay allowances will only be calculated from the date of their re-employment by KTH.

Sumer has called on the Badung Manpower Department to facilitate an arrangement in which the employees of the hotel can continue to work without losing any seniority benefits.

In the several days following the meeting at the DSPR-Badung, hundreds of employees staged demonstrations in the parking lot of the Aston Bali Resort and Spa of the hotel demanding their rights and privileges as employees of the hotel be preserved and protected, and that a recent bankruptcy order against their employer be revoked.