Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bandos Strike: More than Deen’s Personal Tragedy

Bandos owner Mohammed Waheed Deen's financial losses from the recent strike in the luxury resort could run into millions. But the emotional hurt he suffered from the sense of betrayal of trust and love is inestimable. A generous philanthropist, Deen is more than an exemplary employer. He has been a father figure for Bandos staff and considers them part of his extended family. Thus the episode would be a personal tragedy for Deen. But the tragedy is not his alone; it is part of a deeper national malady.

Businesses run on trust. Political systems run on respect for authority. But today in the Maldives, these core values are going down in a death spiral, threatening to take the country to the very brink of anarchy. The effect of this on the workplace, both private and government, has been particularly disastrous.

With eroding respect for authority, discipline and work ethics have suffered. Any supervisor who attempts to take remedial measures against sloppy employees becomes the target of petitions for removal. Managements are frequently forced to fire hard working employees, even if nothing wrong can be proved against them. Such employees lose their rights enshrined in the Employment Act.

Bandos Island resort workers held mass demonstrations after a petition submitted by 303 staff calling for dismissal of company lawyer Zeshan Shihab was rejected by Deputy Managing Director Shezny Deen. The protesters accused Zeshan of harming their relations with the company and its owner.

A visibly shaken Deen has said he had never imagined his employees would treat him the way they did. Despite his personal conviction that Zeshan had done nothing wrong, he had no choice but to accept her resignation.

With Zeshan's resignation the strike has ended. But the question is: What does this signal to the business sector? How does it fit in with today's buzz word, 'corporate governance'?


Anonymous said...

I would say that the Deen is too generous for his staff i saw his meeting speech from youtube, and she should not be resigned. Why should she be resigned for such a allegation??? I would advice to Deen to sack one by one within a year period, and include a clause in the contract that " non of the employee is allowed to practice any kind of strike ie. pitty or deliberate without due notice"

I have seen these sorts of clause in may MNCs operated in other countries,

Anonymous said...

Today the country is perhaps witnessing the darkest chapter of our long and proud history.The younger generation no longer have values that many older generation have proudly followed over the millenia.Parental advice is frowned upon,blatant violation of rules and regulations seem the norm and the fashion.Work ethics is a strange word for many and throughout the country some local goons have brought fear and uncertainity to once peaceful and happy people.Every one want to live the life of luxury but few have the means to achieve it.For those few who have overcome odds to achieve remarkable results in their secondary education life has almost come to a stand still with an indifferent government not interested to give them opportunities for further education.Civil servants like lawyers, teachers , doctors , engineers etccc,, go to sleep every night not sure they will be the next on the unemployment list.
Crime and criminals have the upperhand in Male and the rest of the country.This is the sorry state of affairs and to add insult to the injury the people were gullible enough to elect a government led by people greatly responsible for eroding the core values so important for sustaining a peaceful society.There will be very few people now proud to be a Maldivian.For the time being it is more appropriate for the Maldivians to say " Worried and sad to be a Maldivian''This is the sad state of affairs and if the vast majority are oblivious to what is going on then things will get far more terrible and only a miracle can save us and our nation.

Anonymous said...

Bandos staff plan to go on strike next month if Deen does not shave his beard.

Anonymous said...

If deens staff strike then I cant imagine the condition in other places. Deen is an exemplary employer as you said. Its such a shame that his staff did such a thing. I was more hurt to know that he had never got any complain from anyine regarding Zeshan and the staff's rejection came like an atomic bomb. I believe strike is not the best way to deal with such scenarios.The losses to the company from this strike is not just a loss to Deen but to everyone working there as well. This financial burden will be felt by everyone soon. This sis the very reason why we should try to solve issues through dialogue and negotiations before strikes. Im glad Deen was firm on his decision and Zeshan has lost her right and freedom and she was never given a chance to rethink and change her strategies. She has to end her service and the way she did it also shows she is not a hard headed bureaucrat as accused. I think its time we think about these strikes. It is so common especially in the islands and in the government organs and organisations and bodies as well.

Anonymous said...

The whole country is in need of disciplining. Everyone is demanding for their rights at the cost of the others and the funny thing is they are also getting their way.
Dean must take control of his emotions, obviously the staff still applause the man still but are under the influence of the boardu members...perhaps the new generation of nonviolent....gangs

Anonymous said...

Deen has to study who are the rotten apples in Bandos and remove them. some apples may be in managment, others may be in low jobs. but a rotten apple is harmful whereever they are.

Anonymous said...

1st principle of human resource managment: Don't recruit sloppy staff.
2nd principle: Identify any staff who become sloppy and ruthlessly fire them.

Fali said...

give an inch and take a mile. thats what i think of these sudden barrage of protests happening in this country now. abusing the right to protest. its not just the protesting, but protesting with disregard of the repercussions. and not all the protests have legitimate cause to go that far, most of them cud have been handled through dialogue and negotiation.
its sad

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