Not a season goes by without an employment conflict in a hotel establishment in the Principality and a crisis is currently smouldering at the Miramar. The three-star hotel, located on the Kennedy wharf and which has thirteen employees, since December 2014 has been the property of Russian Yuri Tskhovrebov. At the beginning of January, the restaurant staff were put on compulsory paid holidays as renovation work began in the restaurant. Since then, the management has signalled to the kitchen staff of a redundancy plan to come. Harsh cuts for nine employees on permanent contracts, some of whom have been employees of the hotel for more than a decade.
“Many non-compliance issues were no longer sufficient to ensure the proper functioning of the food service, or to guarantee working conditions for staff and quality of service for customers. Pending the completion of all the formalities, all employees will continue to be paid according to their contract, even if the food service is completely closed,” explained Tskhovrebov, who confirmed that there would be “a redundancy procedure for the nine employees of the food service.”
And for four servers, a transfer of employment has been proposed for another restaurant the businessman plans to open on Boulevard Albert I.
The restaurant will close, but the hotel will remain active
Because, eventually, there will no longer be a restaurant in the hotel.
“The noises, smells and smoke have always bothered the hotel guests,” continued Tskhovrebov, who is considering the concept of a lounge restaurant in the future, but only on the roof terrace of the building.
Still, this first phase of work in the hotel worries the staff.
“What is the management’s objective? We ask ourselves, we are waiting, with no clear answers,” pleaded an employee with regards to the eighteen months of renovation work announced.
“There have always been problems at Miramar, with cases of dubious layoffs. Management puts pressure on its employees. Today there are rumours of major works, of resale, and employees are feeling lost,” explained Olivier Cardot, deputy secretary general of the Association of Trade Unions of Monaco.
The owner, for his part, confirms the start of large-scale refurbishment work for eighteen months.
“In addition to restoring the restoration floor, we are also working on the waterproofing and façade.” He also referred to “the possible refurbishment of the rooms level by level while still pursuing the hotel business in part.”
He specified: “Full redundancies of employees associated with the hotel business are not foreseen. This is a difficult time for our establishment. It is normal for people to ask questions. But I will regularly inform staff about the progress of all procedures and answer any questions.”
Despite the reassurances of the owner, answers are still sought by staff at the Miramar as the employment conflict continues to raise questions about their future in the Principality.