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Guests at Phuket's highly regarded Evason Resort in Rawai

Update: Evason Resort Makes 68 Redundant

Friday, June 26, 2009
Monday Update: Photo Album Above

Six Senses has issued a statement, dated June 26: Evason Phuket introduces mandatory redundancy scheme. The 260-room Evason Phuket today introduced a mandatory redundancy scheme in response to poor business performance resulting from the global economic slowdown and recent public events in Thailand. Despite cost-cutting measures during the past two quarters, many of which were suggested by hosts themselves, and the elimination of several expatriate positions, Evason Phuket continues to have a negative impact on Six Senses' business. A voluntary retirement scheme that was offered, unfortunately resulted in a very disappointing uptake. In all, 68 hosts have been made redundant at Evason Phuket. Six Senses will ensure that the fundamental Core Value ''To treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves'' will guide the scheme. Although Six Senses sees this summer's business as performing poorly, it is expected to begin rebounding by year's end. This is the first occasion in the fifteen years of Six Senses' operations that such an action has been necessary. Six Senses is grateful for the commitment, loyalty and support given by the hosts of Evason Phuket, and urges co-workers who have retained their jobs to thank those moving on, for the contribution that they have made and to wish them every success for their future.

Saturday Update

UNION and non-union staffers were among those retrenched at the Evason, a meeting of officials of the Phuket Island Labor Union heard on Saturday. Those chosen for dismissal were called to one of two meetings on Friday, handed envelopes, and asked to leave immediately, with police looking on. Their actions were also videotaped. The general manager explained the resort's financial situation in person at the meetings and in an accompanying letter to each of the staff. Workers were selected on the basis of the time off they had taken, the letter said. Others had been warned about performance. The Evason had a staff of 470 before the dismissals. - Chutima Sidasathian

Phuketwan Original Report

THE EVASON Resort in Rawai has given instant notice to 68 people, including one worker who had been there for 32 years, a Phuket union spokesperson said this afternoon.

Vijit Dasantad told Phuketwan that white envelopes had been handed to the selected staff this morning.

Khun Vijit said the amounts in the termination payments fulfilled the terms of legal requirements. Staff were paid off appropriately, according to the length of service, he said.

But Khun Vijit added that although the labor laws appeared to have been met, the manner of the termination left a lot to be desired.

''Evason is within their rights,'' he said. ''But the manner of the dismissals is disappointing.

''We would prefer to hear some reason for the sackings to know whether or not they are justified.''

Phuketwan was unable to discuss the dismissals with senior staff at the Evason this afternoon.The general manager and HR representatives were in a meeting.

A spokesperson did say that management had no comment at this stage. The Evason, highly regarded within the tourism industry, has an excellent record on environmental solutions.

Phuket union officials were planning to meet to discuss the issue. It is not known at present why the 68 staff were chosen for retrenchment.

The Evason is one of several older resorts on the island that has union members among its staff.

A union-led dispute at Laguna Phuket earlier this year over bonuses and pay led to a street blockade and dismissals.

The Evason Resort is part of the Six Senses group, which in July will host Six Senses Race Week, a highlight of the yachting calendar.

One report from a sailing outlet online, released today, says that the 2009 event from July 22-26 ''promises to be the biggest and the best one so far with four days of world class yacht racing and five nights of prestigious parties.''

It is anticipated that the sailing carnival may this year be the marketing launchpad for at least one prestigious product.

A lean green season on Phuket and throughout Thailand has led some resorts to look more closely at the size of staff and other issues.

Voluntary extra time off, sometimes involving training courses, is now widespread at many resorts.

Staff who resign are not being replaced. However, not many staff are resigning.

Phuketwan has been told that some resorts are looking again at how labor and staffing affects the ability to cope in difficult times.

In Thailand, most resorts employ 90-95 percent of staff fulltime. However, in other parts of the world, fulltime staff can often run at 60 percent, with casual labor making up the numbers as required.

A pool of casuals is now being viewed as a much more efficient system for coping with the swings and roundabouts of inconsistent numbers of guests.

While wages in Thailand are relatively low, welfare benefits can add 30 percent to salaries once the provision of uniforms, meals, transport, medical insurance and training are taken into account.

Any prolonged lack of tourists on Phuket in likely to trigger not only staff layoffs once other avenues have been exhausted, but also a different approach to labor issues long-term within the entire industry.

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Comments have been disabled for this article.


C'mon! Don't use euphemisms.

"Retrenchment" is firing.

"Race week" is Nero partying while Rome burns.

"Green season" is rainy season, low season, no-tourists-except-those-who-drown season.

...And "casual" employees are underemployed, insecure workers who would rather have some security than reward a hotel that treats its long-term employees like used Kleenex.

Posted by a nonny mous on June 27, 2009 01:38


" Staff told to leave.." So all staff have been told to leave , all 68 ? Or is 68 a portion of staff?

Editor: Are you still stuck at the headline? Please let us know when you've managed to absorb the first paragraph.

Posted by Capt Kirk on June 27, 2009 09:36


Phuket Wan changes the text online frequently. So, still waiting- what percentage of the workers were laid off? The initial report read as if all the employees had been dismissed- it wasn't clear, something that happens a lot with Thai english writers doing the editing, I've noticed.

Editor: It's called updating. Our original heading was correct (and so was the report). You just chose to ignore the first paragraph of the story, which has not changed.

And when we updated, we updated the heading. As the report says, the Evason had 470 workers before laying off 68 workers.

We are more concerned about people than percentage, so you can figure that out for yourself. And No, we don't have a job for you.

Posted by Capt Kirk on July 1, 2009 08:33


greece, turkey, spain, bulgaria, extra flights from all of scandinavia, winter flights to egypt, selling out, extra flights announced, flights to phuket this winter, 60% less bookings as same time last year, if u are rich, u dont go to phuket, u go to miami.... phuket needs to adjust their prices for average joes......

Posted by jojo on July 1, 2009 15:57

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