Hyatt Regency shuts down operations in the wake of a tussle between workers and managementHotel management says it is working with all parties to resolve the dispute as early as possible
Taragaon Regency Hotels, which operates Hyatt Regency Kathmandu, has announced a shutdown of all operations for an indefinite period in the wake of a tussle between the workers’ union and the management over some of the facilities workers say have been slashed.
The hotel, which is listed on the Nepal Stock Exchange, published a notice on Sunday announcing its closure. It has stopped advance bookings for the last three days, according to hotel sources.
The workers have been disrupting services since Thursday, demanding that the management reinstate the facilities they had been receiving since 2004 as per the collective bargain with the management.
Mukti Dahal, the Hyatt Regency chapter president of All Nepal Hotel, Casino and Restaurant Workers Union, said they were forced to launch the agitation after the management decided to cut some of the facilities given to the workers since January.
Dahal said the management had decided to reduce the annual increase of grade to the workers from 9 percent to 5 percent.
He said the management has also decided to slash the medical insurance amount and one-year leave facility given for critical illnesses.
The number of reserved leave days, for which the workers get paid, has been reduced to 78 from 90, he said. “We had tried to sort the issue six months ago, but the management did not pay heed to our demand,” said Dahal. Officials of the hotel refused to comment.
However, in the notice issued to the Nepal Stock Exchange, the hotel has said the management was forced to announce the shutdown, including reservations, following “unnecessary demands” of the union.
It has also said that illegal protests launched by the union have affected the services and administrative works.
“Due to the protest, we are unable to provide necessary services to customers,” reads the notice. The notice said that the workers have violated the rules by organising protests in the service sector.
In a separate statement, the hotel said, “The hotel is working with all parties involved to resolve the dispute at the earliest possible, but until then the hotel will temporarily cease operations and not accept any bookings.”
According to hotel sources, as of Monday, only three of the 280 rooms were occupied by customers. There are around 400 workers in the hotel, and of them, 320 are affiliated with the union.
The hotel’s third quarterly report shows its profit before bonus and tax jumped 29.47 percent compared to the same period last fiscal year.
As per the unaudited financial statement published by the hotel, its net profit stood at Rs356.57 million in the third quarter of the current fiscal year. During the same period last fiscal, its net profit was Rs275.40 million.
Taragaon’s revenues as of the third quarter increased 14.28 percent year-on-year to Rs1.04 billion. Revenues totalled Rs915.7 million during the same period of the last fiscal year. It’s paid-up capital stood at Rs1.88 billion including Rs777 million in reserves.
The hotel said that its revenue swelled due to a rise in tourist arrivals and effective marketing strategy. It said that it may face competition in the coming days with the proliferation of five-star hotels in Nepal prompted by an improving political and business environment.
The hotel stated that the guests and groups who have made bookings will be contacted and moved to other hotels. “We hope the hotel will be able to resolve this issue promptly,” it said, “and continue to deliver services.”