Belmond clarifies its position with La Samanna employees

MARIGOT–The owners of La Samanna Hotel, Belmond, issued an official statement Thursday via its Public Relations agency, La Boutique RP, based in France in response to The Daily Herald’s front-page article “La Samanna employees dig in heels for permanent contracts.”

The statement reads: “Belmond can confirm that it held a meeting with the members of the Works Council, the representative employee body of Belmond La Samanna. The company is consulting with the Council over the potential re-organisation of La Samanna’s existing business model.

“The aim is to ensure the property has a proper cost structure to allow for the refurbishment and re-opening of the hotel and underpin the property’s short and long-term viability. The parameters of the proposals remain subject to consultation with the Works Council. We are, therefore, unable to comment further.”

Aside from Belmond’s statement, the PR agency shared additional elements as follows: “The proposals put forward to the Works Council aim to ensure the future viability of the business and maintain local employment opportunities on the island in the longer-term.

“Belmond is committed to being open and transparent with the Works Council and affiliated employees throughout this process. We look forward to agreeing and delivering an equitable solution for all involved parties.

“Along with the economic justifications, we have proposed a comprehensive social plan (“Plan de Sauvegarde de l’Emploi”), which includes measures over and above those required by law, which we will be discussing with the Works Council over the next few months.

“Our aim is to agree and deliver an equitable set of accompanying measures dedicated to the employees affected by this re-organisation project. New positions will be created at the hotel once its renovation is complete.

“We are consulting with the Works Council to agree and deliver a social plan for each affected employee (which will include financial support as well as training and support with finding new employment).

“The re-organisation project proposed to the Works Council would reflect the reduced activity period for the hotel (we propose a nine-month operating season instead of 10).

“Neither the number of seasonal contracts nor the exact content of roles has been defined yet, but this model would be a pre-requisite to re-open the hotel with viable economic conditions. A re-employment priority will be given to former employees of La Samanna.”

Source: The Daily Herald