Novotel Accra
Novotel Accra

Staff of the four-star Novotel Hotel in Accra have been grumbling about what they say are the discriminatory directives of their new Belgian General Manager, Mr. Marc Frère.

Their grumbles are over what they see as racist directives they have been asked to implement at the hotel following the hotel’s ban on parties by Ghanaian parents to celebrate birthdays of their children at the hotel with the excuse that the GM and his wife swim in the pool and would want to have their privacy when doing so.

Again, while the hotel has barred the large Ghanaian clients of the hotel who troop in to use the hotel’s swimming pool which had hitherto been opened to the public to walk-in, pay and swim anytime, with the same excuse that the GM and his wife swim in the pool and would want to have their privacy when doing so, the pool, staff say, remain open to non-resident white friends of the General Manager who use the facility without even paying.

Management of the hotel have also directed staff to inform inquisitive Ghanaian clients who would seek to find the rationale for the new directives, that swimming at the Hotel’s pool is now based on an UD$800 annual registration fee.

In simple words, if you want to be a user of Novotel’s swimming pool, you would have to fork out $800 (about GHC 1,520) per annum.

Meantime, staff of the house-keeping department in charge of cleaning the hotel’s bedrooms, are also grumbling about the treatment of casual workers who are paid below the minimum wage without their social security being paid.

The workers are paid 0.50 pesewas per room they clean at the hotel.

Hotel staff told this paper the new GM’s directive has negatively impacted the finances of the hotel.

Efforts to speak to Mr. Frère since last Thursday have failed.

He reportedly went on three –day leave after multimedia broadcasting network’s radio station, Asempa FM, broadcast of impending crisis at the hotel. He was billed to resume Wednesday (yesterday) but as of press time we were told he was unavailable for comment.

The hotel’s management was also unwilling to comment officially in his absence.

Workers however told this paper that while Ghanaian workers were celebrating May Day this year, kitchen staff of Novotel went on a sit-down strike because the GM told them he would not allow those who could not participate in the May Day Parade to be given T-shirts with Novotel’s logo’s on it because the T-shirts were too expensive to purchase.



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