A luxury hotel chain has launched an investigation into allegations that workers have been sacked for joining a trade union.
Last Thursday, members of the Shame on Shertaon pressure group protested outside the five-star Le Méridien in Piccadilly, London, to raise awareness of what they claim is intimidation of workers in Ethiopia and the Maldives.
A spokeswoman for the Starwood hotel group, which operates properties under the Sheraton brand, told CN: “We are aware of an unofficial demonstration held on 2 April by the International Union of Food Workers (IUF) outside Le Méridien Piccadilly.
“Starwood Hotels & Resorts is taking the IUF’s allegations regarding Sheraton hotels in Ethiopia and the Maldives very seriously and a full investigation is being conducted. Meanwhile, the security team at Le Méridien Piccadilly was monitoring the situation at the hotel closely and took the appropriate precautions to ensure a safe environment for our guests, associates and members of the community visiting the hotel.”
In a statement, the Shame on Sheraton pressure group said: “The Sheraton Addis luxury hotel in Addis Ababa has sacked over 60 of its staff, some of whom have been working there 16 years, for organising a union. They face at least a year without work pending legal proceedings. In the Maldives, Sheraton has sacked 10 union leaders and has refused to recognise the union. It has initiated disciplinary proceedings against the union rep and 100 members. The management even called the police on a union meeting. Since the resort is on a private island, the hotel is claiming the land as private property and as such can bar union reps from accessing the hotel. This protest was part of a global day of action, supported by the International Union of Food Workers.”