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  1. #1
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    Default Food For Thought!

    After spending time in the Dominican Republic and now having many aquaintances (sp?) and a few good friends, some resort workers and some not. I am feeling entirely disheartened by the fact that the resorts just cut employment during the off season with no notice to the employees nor telling them when they will be able to return. "We'll call you when we need you" is the response all of my friends received.

    I want to know more about this, how can the hotels do this? What are the employment laws, restrictions, are they any?

    Are there options for the resort workers when their employment is cut for 1-3 months straight?

  2. #2
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    Lay offs during slow season, happens in any job and they know it when they are hired.

  3. #3
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    However, there are no laws saying they receive a stipend during their time off?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by kellyjfisch View Post
    However, there are no laws saying they receive a stipend during their time off?
    It may be good for you to understand that any and all resort workers are 100% conscious that low season means layoffs, and they know this even before applying for the job.
    This comes as no surprise to them.
    You may hear some squawking and complaining from them, as it is a common strategy for getting sympathy and perhaps money out of strangers.

    Now... Just imagine that you own a nice B & B in Cape Cod and that you hire some folks for the high season, and you explain to them the time frame that is busy and that they can expect to be laid off at the end of said season, then someone comes along, crying foul and demanding that you pay your employees during low season too, or any type of compensation, for that matter.
    Imagine how you would feel.
    Imagine the impending bankruptcy.
    Imagine the injustice of it all, as you put your heart. soul and money into building the business and making a success out of it, and then some dufus comes along and says that one is not allowed to have seasonal employees, or that they have to be paid all year round, or that that they have to receive some special compensation.
    Nobody forces these folks to take these jobs, and they are 100% cognizant of the conditions.

  5. #5
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    Default At any time.....

    Quote Originally Posted by AnnaC View Post
    Lay offs during slow season, happens in any job and they know it when they are hired.
    Absolutely, it can happen at any time - if a hotel is running under occupancy all sorts of "economising" will have to be made. It is quite common for staff to be laid off at short notice and re-hired when things pick up a short time after.

    As Rocky quite rightly said - it is all about making it pay.

    As the staff members build up their service record and reliability then of course it is unlikely to be these ones that are laid off - it tends to be - last one in, first one out.

    Unless of course they have been "problematical" then it might be called suspension!

    To re-iterate - they know the score when they are hired in the first place.
    Don't fall for any hard luck stories, pleeaassee!



    Rio

  6. #6
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    The way the workers are paid when dismissed in the DR, even you would like to get fired once every 6 months here...
    One Dominican at a time please!


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PICHARDO View Post
    The way the workers are paid when dismissed in the DR, even you would like to get fired once every 6 months here...
    Love it PICHARDO - how true! I have often been envious of the "liquidation" system. Coming from the UK where more and more people are being made redundant with pretty poor compensation in a lot of cases, for once, the DR has got it right!


    Rio
    Last edited by rio2003; 05-30-2008 at 04:48 AM. Reason: cant spell! too early....

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by PICHARDO View Post
    The way the workers are paid when dismissed in the DR, even you would like to get fired once every 6 months here...
    Quote Originally Posted by rio2003 View Post
    Love it PICHARDO - how true! I have often been envious of the "liquidation" system. Coming from the UK where more and more people are being made redundant with pretty poor compensation in a lot of cases, for once, the DR has got it right!


    Rio

    Yeah (and I understand both poster's point), but the resort staff does in most cases not get severance pay.
    In most cases, they have a different agreement signed at time of being contracted (and I would suspect many may not have understood what they signed) and the big name resorts may also have a different standing before labor court than other businesses, as they are a substantial part of the country's economy and have powerful "partners".
    Some of these chain operated outfits indeed have almost "cart blanche" as to how they can hire and fire staff. They can fire people on the spot on the least suspicion of theft or other inadequate behavior like compulsive laziness, even holding back the last outstanding pay.

    This may seem unjust (and in legal terms it most likely is) but with the local labor law and the general tigueraje these operations could probably not function otherwise.

    It all boils down to what already many have posted here, that being a resort worker includes being conscious that it can be a seasonal source of income to both the outfit and the staff.

    Some operators have or are obviously grossly abusing their privileges and powers... like just recently one close to Rio San Juan, which allegedly not only laid off most of it's staff because of what they argue to be a seasonal slowdown but also still owes pay to many of the laid off... The unofficial message allegedly being that "... if you ever want to work here or in a other place like this again, better let it go!".
    It's so bad, resort worker do not want to apply for work there.

    Then, as Rocky pointed out, it's not untypical for resort workers to tend to whine on their new found gringo amigos' shoulders. Sometimes it is a calculated pantomime in order to create sympathy and maybe get financial "help". But our local friends also seem to have an interesting mix of fatalism and on the other hand an inherent inability to accept to "see the numbers on the wall". And most will never consider to accept to any fact pointing to their previous knowledge or acceptance of what later tuns out to be their their hardship "... si, me lo dijeron pero lo que yo pensaba era que..." or "... si, esta en el contrato pero yo no lo lei entonce como iba yo saber que..."

    What I DO find very unfair, besides obvious abuses, is that many of these very hard working resort workers... room and restaurant staff especially, not only are being inadequately paid but at the same time subjected to hours and random shifts which puts some of them at almost 24/7 disposition of their "employer" without any monetary compensation for these exceptional working hours. If they don't like it, they are history.
    On the other hand, many which work well and have learned to make intelligent use of our locals ability to smile genuinely, can make close to the equivalent of their salary or more in tips. Certainly, those who work behind the scenes, don't have that edge and some hotels try to have front line workers share their tips with the rest of the staff... some even strip search them on the way out... but many can prove very imaginative in order to "smuggle" out their qualtos.

    ... J-D.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by J D Sauser View Post
    Yeah (and I understand both poster's point), but the resort staff does in most cases not get severance pay.
    In most cases, they have a different agreement signed at time of being contracted (and I would suspect many may not have understood what they signed) and the big name resorts may also have a different standing before labor court than other businesses, as they are a substantial part of the country's economy and have powerful "partners".
    Some of these chain operated outfits indeed have almost "cart blanche" as to how they can hire and fire staff. They can fire people on the spot on the least suspicion of theft or other inadequate behavior like compulsive laziness, even holding back the last outstanding pay.

    This may seem unjust (and in legal terms it most likely is) but with the local labor law and the general tigueraje these operations could probably not function otherwise.

    It all boils down to what already many have posted here, that being a resort worker includes being conscious that it can be a seasonal source of income to both the outfit and the staff.

    Some operators have or are obviously grossly abusing their privileges and powers... like just recently one close to Rio San Juan, which allegedly not only laid off most of it's staff because of what they argue to be a seasonal slowdown but also still owes pay to many of the laid off... The unofficial message allegedly being that "... if you ever want to work here or in a other place like this again, better let it go!".
    It's so bad, resort worker do not want to apply for work there.

    Then, as Rocky pointed out, it's not untypical for resort workers to tend to whine on their new found gringo amigos' shoulders. Sometimes it is a calculated pantomime in order to create sympathy and maybe get financial "help". But our local friends also seem to have an interesting mix of fatalism and on the other hand an inherent inability to accept to "see the numbers on the wall". And most will never consider to accept to any fact pointing to their previous knowledge or acceptance of what later tuns out to be their their hardship "... si, me lo dijeron pero lo que yo pensaba era que..." or "... si, esta en el contrato pero yo no lo lei entonce como iba yo saber que..."

    What I DO find very unfair, besides obvious abuses, is that many of these very hard working resort workers... room and restaurant staff especially, not only are being inadequately paid but at the same time subjected to hours and random shifts which puts some of them at almost 24/7 disposition of their "employer" without any monetary compensation for these exceptional working hours. If they don't like it, they are history.
    On the other hand, many which work well and have learned to make intelligent use of our locals ability to smile genuinely, can make close to the equivalent of their salary or more in tips. Certainly, those who work behind the scenes, don't have that edge and some hotels try to have front line workers share their tips with the rest of the staff... some even strip search them on the way out... but many can prove very imaginative in order to "smuggle" out their qualtos.

    ... J-D.
    Labor Law in the DR doesn't provide loopholes to Hotels, etc...
    The time from hiring to firing is what decides who gets what and why...

    If the employees followed the hiring pyramid to the tip of the chain, they could get what they deserve presto.

    Thing is that most 99% won't get to hire a lawyer (reputable one, not a shark making the rounds by the official buildings) to learn how much they're entitled to...

    Most foreign operated biz learned to use the contractor/subcontractor/etc... To offer some layers of legal protection (like a bullet proof vest) that will bounce off most attempts to gain lucrative pay outs to ex-employees. But keep in mind that armor piercing bullets can make holes like Swiss cheese to the vests, the AP bullets in this case being the good competent lawyers...

    The general workforce that renders their services at Hotels, etc... Are not the brightest bulbs around... If you catch my drift...

    The DR's labor Laws are not a joke and can come back to bite any big white shark in the navel without mercy...

    Knowing your rights is something most workers think of a slogan for the upper classes in mahogany laid offices, not themselves...
    One Dominican at a time please!


  10. #10
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    Question

    A question to those of you who are oviously more in the know than I am - I have only worked with these guys........

    When they are told that their services are not required I was always under the impression that far from being fired they were being temporarily "laid off" and that the employment would resume as and when the hotel became busier.
    Rarely have I see anyone accept it with any more than mild disappointment and they are usually back before too long.

    For that reason, I have always taken it to be a mutually understood term and condition of the employment - a sort of "subject to demand" service.

    Employees that I have seen fired were usually as a result of gross misconduct similar to those we have here in the UK.

    Rio

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