By Lincoln G. Peters
Over 60 employees of the Palm Spring hotel in Congo Town have staged a day-long protest against the management of the hotel in demand of salaries allegedly due to them.
The aggrieved workers held the day-long protest over the weekend, issuing a threat to file a lawsuit against Palm Spring Hotel Manager and Chief Executive Officer Mr. Njibi Kamand.
The protesters believed that judicial authorities would compel Mr. Kamand to settle their alleged one-year salary arrears since he has allegedly failed to address their concerns.
Our reporter has made all efforts to have Mr. Kamand respond to the allegation levied against him and the entity without any fruitful result.
There were also reports that the Ministry of Labor was trying to get to the manager who allegedly did not also turn out, that information could not be verified immediately.
The Palm Spring protesters later continued their peaceful protest at the Ministry of Labor, Ministerial Complex in Congo Town as a way of calling the Minister and Labor officials’ attention to their plight.
The aggrieved protester was seen carrying placards with various inscriptions: “Liberians are not slaves;” “Please give our salaries;” We have a family to take care of and children to send to school;” and “We are tired of being treated like slaves and lied …”
Speaking in an interview with reporters Friday, 19 November 2021 on behalf of the group, the Chief Security at Palm Spring hotel Mr. Telmen Backer alleged that the management headed by Mr. Njibi Kamand owes the workers salaries covering a period of one year since the outbreak of the COVID-19.
“I’m the Chief Security or personal security to CEO Njibi Kamand, but I’m really angry and tired because my friends have been seeing me as conniver. We have meetings with him along with the Ministry of Labor, and he promised to pay our salary today as he has been promising many times. The works are here and yet he fails to live up to the promise,” said Mr. Baker.
He further indicated that when COVID-19 got worse and the business went down, CEO Kamand sold the entire hotel to a Chinese company that is now carrying out renovation work at the facility and is expected to reopen it in December this year.
Mr. Backer explained further that when Mr. Kamand told the company that he had workers’ salaries to settle, he was allegedly given 60 thousand, following which he allegedly told the aggrieved workers that he was going to settle their arrears.
However, he claimed that his boss Mr. Kamand failed to do so, even though the Ministry of Labor was in the know of the situation.
“Because he failed to live up to the promise after selling the company and receiving additional $60,000 dollars to pay our salary, the workers came at the compound to protest,” said Mr. Baker.
“We called him and he says that he doesn’t have any money for you,” he continued, adding that Kamand warned them that they will pay double if they damage anything in the area.
According to him, based upon that, they went to the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town to tell the Minister that the Palm Spring hotel manager Mr. Kamand has failed to pay their salaries despite an agreement between him and the workers along with Minister Charles Gibson that he will pay the arrears on 19 November 2021.–Edited by Winston W. Parley