Atrium Beach Resort and Spa.
SIMPSON BAY–Employees of Atrium Beach Resort and Spa were shocked to learn of their dismissal from the hotel with receipt of termination letters April 14 and 15.
The Daily Herald understands that all but three employees received notices of termination. Many employees were obviously infuriated to receive such sudden and abrupt notice delivered via mailing service.
In the letters received it was stated that the employee agreement between the employer and employee has been terminated with mutual consent effective March 29, 2020. This is dated two weeks prior to receipt by the employees. Salary and benefits were also only to be paid up until the mentioned date.
With the termination letter the resort offers “a one-time definitive all-inclusive gross termination compensation”. One employee who has worked at the resort for more than 20 years said she was offered in her dismissal letter a pay-out of only US $3,000.
Employees who sign these agreements would renounce any claim against the employer on account of the employment agreement. This would grant the employer full and final discharge of the employee.
The letter stated, “The employee explicitly declares that any rights the employee may have pursuant to the National Ordinance on Severance Pay of St. Maarten are included in the termination compensation mentioned in the settlement agreement and the employee will therefore not claim any payment for cessentia from the employer.”
Employees of the hotel are represented by United Federation of the Windward Antilles (UFA). UFA President Lloyd Beaton told this newspaper that he was made aware of the situation when two employees contacted him with their concerns. It was then he learned of the letters mailed to employees announcing their dismissal from the resort.
According to Beaton, neither the owners nor management of the resort consulted with or contacted the union prior to carrying out their decision, an act he notes defies local labour laws in St. Maarten.
Beaton said the resort had acted very prematurely in its decision-making, as the government has proposed a support and relief plan for businesses, thus eliminating the need for this situation. He further noted that union members were advised to not sign the proposed settlement agreements. Not signing means the members are not in agreement with the conditions presented.
Beaton said the letters received by all union members of the hotel will be forwarded to a lawyer to aid in building a case if deemed necessary.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/atrium-resort-dismisses-majority-of-its-employees