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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Sheraton Hotel Abuja Workers Protest Non-payment of Severance Package

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Staff of Sheraton Hotel Abuja yesterday embarked on a protest over the non-payment of their severance package following plans to close down the company.

The workers are demanding that the hotel managers, Marriot International, pay them their full benefits before proceeding to shut down the hotel for renovations.

The staff agitation followed an earlier notice by the management informing guests that the hotel would be temporarily closed down effective October 18, 2022.

The management had further stated that the facility which is currently in bad shape would remain closed in the course of the renovation with some essential services being maintained but added that no guests will be allowed during the period.

The protesters wielded placards with inscriptions such as “Marriott Pay Us What is Due to Us; Marriott Stop Manipulating the Workers; Enough of Exposure to Safety Hazards; Marriott Treat Us Like Human Beings; and We Are Not Animals,” among others.

The hotel union members launched the protest following Marriott’s alleged non-payment of their severance packages as agreed and for other issues bordering on safety standards as a result of the degraded state of the hotel.

It was understood that the appalling state of the hotel had given reason for the safety complaints that the union had asserted as posing danger to the employees, the hotel guests, and the general public.

This explained why the new owners have decided to temporarily shut down its operations to enable them to carry out renovations of the facility.

It was also understood that the new owners had communicated their decision to temporarily shut down the hotel.

However, the protest almost turned violent before the police were called in by management to ensure their actions does not lead to a breakdown in law and order.

Both the staff union and the hotel managers later went into a meeting to see how the severance pay and other labour issues involved would be addressed.

The development came in the wake of the acquisition of a majority stake in Capital Hotel Plc, owners of the hotel by 22 Hospitality Limited.

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