Fri, 03 Mar 2000

Strike continues at Bali hotel

NUSA DUA, Bali (JP): Hundreds of employees of Melia Bali Hotel continued their strike for the second day on Thursday, demanding the dismissal of four hotel executives whom they accuse of mistreating the staff.

About 680 workers "occupied" the five-star hotel by holding a sit-down throughout the day and refusing to serve any guests.

Guests at the 500-room hotel were moved to neighboring hotels. They had been transferred by tour agents since Wednesday night.

Hopes for a negotiated end to the strike remained hampered by Thursday evening.

Three directors from PT Surya Semesta Internusa -- the holding company of PT Suryalaya Anindita, which owns the Melia Bali Hotel and Gran Melia Jakarta -- flew from Jakarta to meet with employee representatives.

The three were identified as president director Marseno Wiryo Saputro, director Edy P. Ikanta and deputy director Johannes Suriadjaya, who is also the director of PT Suryalaya Anindita.

During the meeting, the workers' representatives demanded the hotel's general manager, Daniel Lozano, financial controller I Gusti Putu Wisesa, executive assistant manager Ketut Darta and Human Resources Manager Rita Laksmiwati be dismissed.

Johannes, however, said the company was not in a position to dismiss them as the management of the hotel was handed over to Sol Melia Spain, a hotel management service provider.

He said PT Suryalaya Anindita had no authority to intervene with management affairs.

"All managers were appointed by Sol Melia Spain. Therefore, if we want to dismiss them we have to submit a request to (Sol Melia Spain) first," Johannes said.

Nevertheless, he pledged to do his best to find a satisfactory solution to the matter.

Workers claim that the work environment was no longer suitable and workers were being exploited by the hotel management.

"They (the managers) often impose sanctions, or make new policies that are discouraging to the workers," Putu Widiana, spokesman of the labor union in the Melia Bali Hotel said.

Hotel labor union chief Wayan Badra also claimed that among the incidents of mistreatment was a severe reprimand for an employee who took a day off for her wedding ceremony.

The workers have refused to hold talks with the management and stressed that they only wanted to discuss the matter with the hotel owner.

As of Thursday afternoon managers of the hotel could not be reached for comment. (zen/edt)