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Sacked staff of Evason Phuket and Bon Island take their dispute to town

Sacked Phuket Resort Staff Take Pay Protest to Phuket City

Thursday, May 24, 2012
PHUKET: About 100 sacked workers from a Phuket resort set out to seek the help of the Phuket Governor in a protest at Provincial Hall in Phuket City today.

The protesters - including one obviously pregnant woman - continue to ask for extra money in their dispute with the owners of Evason Phuket and Bon Island over the instant dismissal of about 440 staff on Tuesday.

While the resort staff have been paid their legal entitlements, union representatives say they should have been given more notice, and that some will struggle to find new employment.

Santhad Sertprasit, a representative from the Phuket Island Union, said: ''Most of our staff were shocked by this treatment. It is as though the owners don't care about their staff.

''Most of these workers average 15 years with the resort. Most of them are aged 30 to 50 and are the breadwinners in their families.

''Even with the Evason paying their legal entitlements, many of those who are aged 40 and over will struggle to find other jobs because of their age.''

The sacked workers originally asked for double their legal entitlements because they were given no notice of dismissal but that request was adapted today.

The workers are now seeking four months extra pay for all staff who had been at the resort for less than 10 years, and eight months extra pay for all those who had been at the resort longer than 10 years.

Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha was not able to meet the demonstrators at Provincial Hall today but Vice Governor Dr Sommai Preechasin took delivery of a letter on his behalf.

Dr Sommai said it was her understanding that many resorts on Phuket needed staff. A Department of Labor official said that those who registered for work should be able to find it within 30 days.

He said there were 1000 jobs available in resorts across Phuket, and that a jobs fair was being held at the Home Pro retail outlet in Phuket City this Sunday.

Workers' representatives arrived at the Phuket's Department of Labor and Welfare yesterday for a planned meeting with Evason management but the management sent a letter asking to defer the meeting until June 12.

The Evason is believed to be in the process of being sold to an undisclosed buyer as its owners, Soneva, undergo a simultaneous restructure.

The resort, on Phuket's east coast at Rawai, opened in 1969 as the Phuket Island Resort, Phuket's first tourist class hotel.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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I am 100% confident that most employees will find new employment very soon as Phuket has a shortage of skilled labor in hospitality industry.

However, i do agree that "some" will struggle to find new employment.

Could it be that 'some' means the Labor Union Leaders and Union Hardcore which are well known in Phuket and have been in the news as well for certain issues?

Posted by Mr. K on May 24, 2012 16:31

Editor Comment:

You have to accept that all former employees above 40 will probably struggle, Mr K, given the ageist approach of resort managements. Let's not harp on about unions. They have little power on Phuket.

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One of the most important reasons which makes a strong Thai economy, it's the absence of Unions Parties.
I agree with the esistence of Labor and Welfare Departments to protect workers and their rights like avoid abuses, but they are paid for their jobs and when there are only few guests as it has happened at the Evason, the owner has all the right to close the enterprise and sells it. The owner risks his capital (money), the workers risk the law of the market. Instead of Political Unions Organizations, it would be better a Government Fund to protect workers who fall in these situations. Absolutely avoid Union Party: it would be the end of Thai economy!

Posted by Coralie on May 24, 2012 17:30

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So, according to the union, the hotel must pay more than they are legally bounf to do because the resort don't "care" about the staff? The tendecies in thailand to go out and have a "righteous protest" is like a societal disease. The resort followed the law, get a new job and don't be greedy.

Posted by christian on May 24, 2012 19:09

Editor Comment:

Without taking sides, it's conventional in most workplace relationships to give workers a reasonable period of notice. Instant dismissal usually implies wrong-doing. You may not understand that, christian, but most people who have worked for the same employer for five, 10 or 15 years do. Perhaps you've never been in that situation?

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In what situation? Working for the same employer for several years? Well, I have. Instantly dismissed? No I haven't. In case you haven't noticed, ALL the staff is being dismissed because the resort is CLOSING. So all staff is being dismissed. This does abolutely NOT imply that the hotel accuse the staff of "wrong doing". In any case, they followed the law, and this "protest" is exactly what is wrong in thai society today, road blocks, protests, taking the law into your own hands etc.

Posted by christian on May 24, 2012 21:03

Editor Comment:

Odd though, christian, that Laguna Beach Resort managed to give its workers advance notice in what appears to be precisely the same situation. Protests are a rarity. The protesters even followed government advice - to hold the protest at Provincial Hall rather than on Phuket's roads.

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It's sad to see that obviously good, hard working employees have been made redundant. It's a shame to hear that most over 40 years would not be able to get jobs. Many are probably a lot more experienced, be more diligent and consistent than a lot of the younger employees. It would be hoped that their fears amount to nothing and they are all reemployed quickly. However, if the company has met all legal requirements, their protests would probably be in vain. However, it sounds, from the articles, that the management didn't give the staff any warning at all. This is probably not illegal but would have hurt the workers' feelings.

Posted by Ty on May 25, 2012 00:44

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I'm not taking sides either and I feel for those now looking for work, but after reading this and some of the previous reports it sounds like the staff were sacked after blocking the hotel entrance and not showing up for work after getting upset that no one from resort management was informing them of their future after hearing rumours. If that is the case then if I understand the law correctly those participating in the work stoppage and blockade don't legally deserve anything as they were terminated for cause (not showing up for work and blocking the entrance) and now they are very unlikely to be rehired if the resort re-opens. I think it's clear their union leader has really screwed the pooch on this and is now trying to save some face with his followers. Good luck to them but the reality is they are probably lucky to have gotten what they got.

Posted by Joe on May 25, 2012 02:02

Editor Comment:

All the knowledge and convenience appear to rest on one side, Joe, if it's correct that travel agents were told not to send guests. The only people who appear to not have been told the resort was about to close are the staff.

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It is quite common that when people are fired/resigning from companies in Thailand that they are asked to leave right away, reason being that past experiences show such employees are to no benefit of the company and are likely to cause problems. From time to time you can see ads in the Newspapers where companies are very keen to inform everyone that this or that employee no longer works for them and that the company no longer will be responsible for their actions.
There is no such thing as a lifetime work security anywhere in the world, Having worked with Evason is not a bad thing to have at their resume and I am quite sure they will manage to find another job somewhere in the greater Phuket area.

Posted by Bjarne on May 25, 2012 07:15

Editor Comment:

The more common experience on Phuket is for people who resign to give one months' notice, or two weeks at least. This is especially true of long-time employees. Only where there's a total lack of trust are people asked to leave immediately. In cases where employers go to the trouble of advertising that a person is no longer in their employ, the message is obvious: trust wasn't a part of the working relationship. What this means is that employees at resorts probably need to look at having a notice period written into their contract.

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When the companies ask staff to leave immediately it does not mean that they loose their rights, they are still entitled to be compensated during the notice period and whatever else the law or their contracts stipulate .. but it is of course always the company that should decide whether it is beneficial to have an employee stay on after being fired or resigned.

Posted by Bjarne on May 25, 2012 07:38

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Christian, you have 2 fact wrong:
1) not all staff are sacked, about 40-50 are left on the job to safeguard the premises I presume; and
2) the hotel was legally required to give notice, depending on the years of employment 1-3 months.
And there is also the moral aspect of this to people who have been working for the hotel for many, many years.

Posted by stevenl on May 25, 2012 07:48

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The company has been reputable in paying out its legal requirements they are not sacked their retrenched the rest is a moral issue fair notice being one, a assistance new job package be nice like contacting other resorts looking for talent on the workers behalf
I do hope they recieve outstanding references for loyalty and long term honest service for a future carreer path
case of legal reqs met now what about the moral and decent unwritten things.

Posted by traveller on May 25, 2012 16:35

Editor Comment:

Sacked, retrenched, fired, dismissed, unhired, made redundant . . . same outcome. No job.

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I am a staff of the Evason Phuket. I just would like to share my comments especially with Christian. Six Senses company manage this resort which always present communities care of environment, the leader of carbon sense funds and many of other charities. They are a leader of reputation and seniority, why treat other people instead of their staff who makes them rich even the last day we were informed 30 minutes before closing. This company opened 10 years ago, earned a lot of profit which also transfer to some other branch inclusive head office. We fight because we think that unfair not by the law but the right way, the capitalist who come to make money then just walk a way without "care". Is this correct? ....

Posted by I am Evason staff on May 25, 2012 16:50

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I am Evason staff

yes, that is correct, they followed the law. As for your rant about "capitalists" I guess you don't even know the meaning of the word, unless of course, you are a communist? If you are so much against Capitalists and caplitalism then why are you so eager to get more money than the law stipulates? If you have a problem with the law, then vote for politicians that want to change said laws. And if you can't get enough people to vote for your choice of politician, then tough luck. it's called democracy you know.

Posted by christian on May 25, 2012 18:19

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"Many are probably a lot more experienced, be more diligent and consistent than a lot of the younger employees."
Probably, and I agree with you. But the changes in Thailand made it, that almost all of the younger employees have a master degree in 'whatever', the 40+ years old probably don't.
I would like to know, when the deal was taken. But low season, anyway not a good time, to find a job in this field!

Posted by ??? on May 25, 2012 18:37

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I love this forum, thanks Phuketwan! Inequality in society, a different idea and perception causes disadvantage and it is being exploited. This is a fact of human society today.

Posted by I am Evason staff on May 26, 2012 07:32

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8 months free salary is beyond ridiculous and shows exactly the mindset of the workers. Me Me Me

Posted by Media Watcher on May 26, 2012 08:09

Editor Comment:

Thanks, me- me- media watcher. And the mindset of the owner? Have you formed a view on that, too?

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Ed
In Australia, do you really get more than 8 months of salary when you get fired? In Sweden we don't for sure.

Various companies do it this way because if they give a notice, then you are guaranteed to have road blocks, protests at the gate etc etc. And if you plan on closing the place, add in theft, vandalism and 3 months of business crushing problems. This scenario is very very common and so it's incredibly risky to give a notice here in Thailand, because the tendency of people here taking to the streets and become miltiant.

Posted by christian on May 26, 2012 13:49

Editor Comment:

If the resort management previously asked staff to give notice of x weeks when resigning, then wouldn't it be fair for the staff to be given that amount in lieu of notice?
Deals in Australia vary from industry to industry. Four weeks for every year of service is standard in some industries. So a 20-year veteran would be paid out with 20 months' salary. There is no ''tendency in Thailand'' to become militant. You must be thinking of Sweden. And what happens in Sweden or Australia has no relevance here.

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By law, if the destruction of property or to prevent destruction and damage. The employer has the right not to pay any compensation.

Posted by Anonymous on May 27, 2012 14:06

Editor Comment:

As there's no suggestion of any damage in this case, I wonder why you bother raising it.


Tuesday October 26, 2021
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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