‘Years of service ended in 20 minutes’ – Marriott fires about 40 Guyanese staff
The Guyana Marriott Hotel, in what retrenched employees have described as an “overnight operation”, fired approximately 40 Guyanese staff members earlier this week.
Manager of the hotel, Eduardo Reple had initially agreed to an interview with the News Room on Thursday but later put his Secretary to call an hour before to cancel citing his unavailability.
The News Room understands that the move to fire the employees was taken as the hotel grapples with falling profits due to the COVID – 19 pandemic.
Employees were retained for months, working on a shift system/rotation basis and for portions of their salaries. The now fired Marriott staff said they had received repeated assurances from management that their jobs were secured.
Several categories of employees were affected by the firing including the front desk, the restaurant, banquet, housekeeping, finance and it included several supervisors and managers.
Speaking to the News Room under strict anonymity, one senior staff member related that while Marriott has not “done anything wrong” to let them go, the manner in which it was done leaves much to be desired.
Those who were dismissed said the news came as a shock since they were given no warning.
“We turned up at work in the morning and were asked to report to [Human Resources] and there we were told that we were being let go with one month pay… we were immediately escorted to our desks and lockers to clear them and then escorted off the premises… all our years of service ended in 20 minutes,” the fired employee explained.
The employees are also up in arms over the fact that only Guyanese staff were fired in this operation on the grounds that their jobs had become redundant while all the jobs given to expats were secured.
The News Room understands that there are still four expat chefs employed by Marriott with housing and other amenities paid for by the hotel.
There are also claims of redundant management employees still being kept on staff while the lower level staff lost their jobs.
“They can’t tell us about being redundant when they have an expat banquet chef still employed with no events booked. There is a Restaurant Director and a Food and Beverage Director both doing the same thing, there is a Director of Rooms and a Housekeeping Manager both doing the same thing, and there is a front desk staff and front office staff doing the same thing and they all kept their jobs,” the fired employee told the News Room.
The News Room understands that the hotel is currently taking local bookings for the third floor but ExxonMobil employees have taken up the second and all other floors of the hotel.
The hotel was reportedly forced to cancel all special events booked at the venue for the remainder of this year and have been hit hard by the shortfall in persons booking rooms, visiting the restaurant, bar and poolside as a result of the pandemic.
Guyana’s airports have been closed to incoming flights since March and still does not allow for foreigners or tourists to enter the country.
The News Room again reached out to the hotel’s Head of Human Resource Rafael Marcolan and other senior management to comment on the issue but this also proved futile.