Fulbari extends ‘golden handshake’ to 120 staff

- LAL PRASAD SHARMA, Pokhara

Sep 8, 2017-

The management of Fulbari Resort and Spa, a Pokhara-based five-star hotel, has extended a ‘golden handshake’ to 120 workers, agreeing a package deal in excess of Rs35 million. The deal has ended the six-month dispute between the hotel management and employees over pay and other facilities. The posh hotel had been closed since February 28.

The management and the trade unions affiliated to different political parties reached the deal on Thursday. The workers will be paid in two installments: 40 percent of the sum by Friday and the rest after two months, according to the unions involved in the negotiations. 

“In the first phase, we will be distributing Rs10 million as retirement package,” said Samir Kapil, general manager of the resort. “Distribution will begin on Friday.” 

However, the resort will pay only the basic salary to the workers for the past six months—the period after the hotel’s closure. 

Kapil claimed that the hotel had been paying salaries to the workers regularly despite the earthquake and trade embargo in 2015. 

There are 145 staffers on the hotel’s payroll. Workers belonging to trade unions affiliated to the three major political parties-Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Centre)—had launched a protest after they could not get perks and other facilities as promised earlier. The agitating unions had claimed that the hotel owes them salaries for two months, provident fund for 26 months, service charge for 14 months and health insurance for seven years.  

The hotel management said that it had accrued a loss amounting to had run into millions of rupees due to the closure of the property. Losses due to cancellation of bookings and damaged infrastructure, including restaurants and swimming pool— would total Rs150 million, the management claimed. 

Nava Raj Giri, vice-president of the Fulbari Resort and Spa unit of the All Nepal Hotel and Restaurant Workers Union, confirmed the package deal. “There is no reason for us to stay on, as the management has informed us that the hotel will be shut down,” he said.

Published: 08-09-2017 08:29

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