SIMPSON BAY–Diamond Resorts International, which operates Flamingo and Royal Palm Beach Resorts in St. Maarten, says its goal is to provide “good, steady” jobs for its team members when the resorts reopen. It did not specify when the resorts will reopen.
Flamingo and Royal Palm informed their workers recently that they intended to close for two years for reconstruction of their hurricane-ravaged facilities and would be dismissing their entire workforce of 205 persons during the rebuilding process. Up to early Wednesday, no dismissal request had been filed at the Department of Labour to terminate the services of the workers, although a mass dismissal request for another company had been filed (see related story).
“Hurricane Irma devastated St. Maarten, impacting the lives of so many in this community. Over the past few months, our focus has been on supporting our employees and their families, including continuing to pay team members their full salaries and providing care packages and financial aid,” Diamond Resorts International told The Daily Herald.
“Now, as we look to the future, we are committed to completing the rebuilding process as quickly as possible and our goal is to once again be able to provide good, steady jobs for our team members when the resorts reopen.”
According to Diamond Resorts, “It is impossible for us to express the magnitude of our sadness for the devastation our team members and the island experienced. We are working closely with WIFOL [Workers Institute for Organised Labour – Ed.] and all relevant parties to ensure transparency with our team members during this time.”
Diamond Resorts did not respond to a number of specific questions posed by this newspaper, including whether WIFOL’s desire for workers in Flamingo and Royal Palm’s maintenance, landscaping and security departments to be involved in the rebuilding process is possible.
Flamingo and Royal Palm workers were informed of the closure and plans for reconstruction during a meeting with management last week Thursday.
The workers met with WIFOL President Theophilus Thompson late Monday about the company’s announcement that it would close. Workers said they had been told the intention is to close for two years and the plan is to rehire workers once the reconstruction has been completed.
However, the workers were very concerned about not having jobs for such a lengthy period. Thompson urged the workers to not sign any individual termination agreements with the company and urged them to instead let the dismissal process follow its legal course via the Labour Department.