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Shangri-La rejects hiring ex-workers

Jakarta Post - October 12, 2001

Jakarta – As a group of former Shangri-La workers continued its demonstrations in front of the hotel demanding their jobs back, the hotel management said on Thursday that re-hiring was not a viable option.

The hotel considers as final the decision of the government-sanctioned Central Committee for the Settlement of Labor Disputes in May to allow the Shangri-La to lay off its protesting workers, and therefore considers the prolonged issue to be settled, according to senior manager Wastu Widanto. The hotel refused to rehire the 81 people as they had violated its working agreement by staging demonstrations against the management, he said.

A total of 606 workers were in dispute with the hotel over their demands for better working conditions. They staged a protest in December last year, causing the hotel to halt its operations for three months.

Currently there are 81 ex-workers belonging to the Shangri-La Independent Labor Union (SPSM) who are contesting the Committee's decision. Valentinus Wagiyo, the leader of the SPSM said they were also demanding to have their reputations cleared by the Shangri-La. SPSM claimed that the Shangri-La had issued a "black list" containing the names of people who had participated in the demonstrations. Shangri-La denied the allegation, saying that the hotel would never do such a thing.