Maho Group wins appeal against former workers

MAHO–A recent appeals case favoured The Maho Group in its labour dispute, where nine former casino employees claimed to have been wrongfully dismissed by Resort of the World (ROTW).

  The case, Hogge vs. ROTW, related to the transfer of employees from ROTW to CMM and MHO in 2016, which was an operational and reorganisational decision made by The Maho Group, thus creating operating companies for each facet of its hospitality ventures, all of which are wholly-owned subsidiaries of ROTW.

  Nine out of 494 employees refused to transfer to CMM despite being given exactly the same position, benefits, seniority and pay, so ROTW applied and received permission to terminate the labour agreements from the Labour Office.

  The nine employees then sued ROTW, resulting in ROTW winning in the first degree. The plaintiffs appealed the verdict, but ROTW won the appeal as well.

  In the subject litigation it was claimed that ROTW gave a so-called “false” or “feigned” reason for the dismissal, which would make this dismissal “manifestly unreasonable.”

  On August 9, 2017, the Court in First Instance of St. Maarten rejected the claims  and ordered Hogge and the eight other former employees to each pay an amount of NAf 1,250 to ROTW in litigation fees. Hogge appealed that decision and, on May 4, the Appeal Court rendered its ruling.

  During the pleadings in this case the attorney for ROTW queried what could be the reason for the refusal of Hogge to transfer to CMM, and the appellate judge had also posed this question to Hogge  during the hearing, but Hogge failed to provide a clear answer to that question.

  The Appeal Court’s ruling therefore confirmed the judgment of the Court in First Instance and all claims of Hogge were denied. Hogge was furthermore ordered to pay NAf 6,000 in court fees.

  “The Maho Group cares about its employees and is committed to going above and beyond for them. We don’t infringe on their rights,” said The Maho Group’s President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Saro Spadaro.

  “We acted like a good employer and took every reasonable step to prevent the lay-offs, which ultimately were legal and justified.”

Source: The Daily Herald