Tue, 23 May 2000

Bridge meet interrupted by workers' strike at hotel

TANGERANG (JP): Some 200 workers of five-star Imperial Century Hotel in Lippo Karawaci staged a strike on Monday, paralyzing almost all of the hotel's activities, including a meeting of Pacific-Asia Bridge Federation (PABF).

"We are demanding full health insurance coverage for workers and our family members, allowance to pay for the loss and breakage retention of hotel goods and a daily transportation allowance of Rp 7,000 (85 U.S. cents) for all workers," said the chairman of the hotel's workers union, Ronny Kusman.

"We also demand an annual salary hike and a year-end party."

The workers also called for the dismissal of general manager Douglas Wallace and financial controller Hendri Elfis for disrespectful behavior.

"They always act rudely and tell off the workers," employee Otman told The Jakarta Post.

The strike practically halted all of the hotel's services as most employees, except the receptionists, joined the strike.

Many participants in the fourth PABF congress, which opened on Friday, repeatedly complained about the situation.

The meeting was moved to another hotel.

The strike ended with negotiations between the workers and hotel management under mediation from an official from the Ministry of Manpower's Tangerang office, Aman Setiawan, and a representative of the Tangerang branch of the All Indonesian Workers Union Federation (FSPSI), Arsad Ahmad.

It was decided the hotel management would pay a transportation allowance of Rp 4,000 per day for workers living in Tangerang and Rp 6,000 for those residing outside the area, such as Jakarta.

Based on the deal, the workers will also get an annual salary raise, depending on the length of their service, performance and the hotel's financial condition.

It was also agreed there would be 80 percent coverage of health insurance for workers and their family members.

Interviewed separately, evening on-duty manager of the hotel Eka Tresna said the strike lasted for several hours from 2 p.m.

He said there was no foundation to the employees' allegations.

"The accusation that our top managers are rude is groundless," he told the Post over the phone.

"It's also untrue our service was halted due to the strike." (41/nvn)