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Great Duke Hotel to meet staff over compensation

Sen David / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Great Duke Hotel employees protest over missing wages in September. KT/Pann Rachana

A Great Duke Hotel representative will meet staff members tomorrow to discuss compensation following its decision to cease operations.

Toch Kosal, a staff representative, said the company issued a letter yesterday informing them of the upcoming meeting to discuss compensation for 156 workers.

“On that day, we will know how the company will compensate us,” he noted. “We will have the chance to negotiate with it and hope that the hotel management will pay enough according to the law.”

Mr Kosal added that most of the staff had worked at the hotel for more than ten years.

“The staff have not sought other jobs yet because they are waiting for compensation from the company,” he added. “If the compensation is lower than what the law requires we will protest again, but if the company pays us according to the law we will not protest.”

Since June last year, the hotel has been facing protests from staff after it fell behind in paying their salaries.

General manager Chakrapong Paladsongkran on December 20 announced that the hotel would close down for economic reasons effective December 31.

He informed employees not to come to work and said it had appointed a law firm to handle the winding up process, including settlement of employees’ benefits, according to the law.

Opened in 1996 as the InterContinental Phnom Penh Hotel, it was officially rebranded as The Great Duke Phnom Penh Hotel in 2018 after a new owner took over.

Lim Sophal, another hotel staffer, yesterday said the company had hired a lawyer to calculate compensation and to set a deadline for the payouts.

“We hope that the company will calculate compensation in accordance with the law,” he said. “We really don’t want to stage protests because we also sympathise with the hotel owner over its closure.”

Mr Sophal noted that most of the staff had worked for more than ten years and have enough experience and training and should be able to find other jobs in the hospitality sector.

“Now there are many restaurants and hotels so they hope that they will find other jobs because they have been well trained when they were with InterContinental Phnom Penh Hotel,” he said.

Mr Sophal said that after InterContinental was taken over by the new owner, room rates doubled, resulting in a drop in bookings.

“Previously the room rate was $100 dollar per night, but the new owner raised it to $300 and lost guests,” he said.

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