Warin Sangkong, deputy president of the Phuket Island Resort Labour Union, told The Phuket News that the layoffs had come as a shock, though there had been signs that not all was right with the resort.
“Since the beginning of last month there were very few people checking in. We tried to meet with the new owners on Friday (May 18) to ask what was happening, but they refused to meet with us.
“We tried to set up another meeting for Thursday (May 24) but we were then told that the resort was closed with immediate effect and all staff were laid off.”
At a meeting to discuss their options today, some 100 of the laid-off employees decided that they would meet with officials from the Provincial Labour Office tomorrow (May 23), with the hope that the new owners, too, would join the meeting.
Although the staff have been told that they will receive severance compensation, with the amount depending on their length of service, they decided today that the amounts were not enough, and they would demand a doubling of the figures offered.
If the new owners did not comply, they said, they would take legal action.
This is the second time this year that a major resort has been closed after being sold. At the end of March the Laguna Beach Resort in Cherng Talay was shut down. There, too, many of the staff, particularly those who had been there for many years, were laid off.