A local hotel worker is claiming victimisation and unfair dismissal after being fired earlier this week in disputed circumstances.
Forty-one-year-old Shawn Mapp, a former houseman at the Coral Mist Beach Hotel in Worthing, Christ Church complained that for years, some workers have been subjected to verbal abuse and indiscriminate threats of suspension and/or dismissal from members of management.
Mapp’s troubles reached breaking point on Monday afternoon when he was given notice of dismissal by General Manager, Omar Juman after he said, he left the hotel for approximately 30 minutes to purchase an item from the nearby Massy supermarket for his 12-year-old daughter.
“I worked the entire day cleaning down the third floor, wiping down lattice, cleaning down doors, taking out linen and garbage,” Mapp recounted of his last full day at work.
“It was about 20 minutes to 5 o’clock or a quarter to five…and my daughter asked me to bring home some stuff for her urgently. Before I left, the supervisor wasn’t around and I left and went to buy the stuff,” he said.
As he was returning from the supermarket, Mapp said a senior manager from the hotel confronted him and started asking questions.
“He stopped his van beside me and asked me if I am finished work and I told him that all the corridors are clear, all of the maids are finished, all of the garbage has been taken out and everything is done.”
However with a few minutes still remaining on his shift, Mapp claims he was informed that he had abandoned his job and forfeited his status as an employee at the hotel.
“He said, ‘you are no longer working with us,’ and when I tried to respond, he pressed the button to roll up his window and dragged off and left me.”
The following day, Mapp said he returned to work as usual, but was again informed that he had walked off of the job the day before and issued a termination letter.
Juman on the other hand has vehemently refuted Mapp’s account, claiming that the houseman was dismissed for verbally abusing him during Tuesday’s meeting.
“He was dismissed for abusing me with all types of profanities when I had a meeting with him to discuss certain things. He used extremely abusive language towards me the general manager. He wasn’t dismissed for any other reason,” said Juman.
Giving his explanation of Monday’s events, Juman said, “He left the premises at 20 minutes past four and returned and I warned him about doing that without punching or without telling anyone. But that is not why he was dismissed. He was dismissed because he verbally abused me and that is insubordination and gross misconduct and that is what he did,” said Juman, who added that he had at least three witnesses to verify his account.
Barbados TODAY understands the embattled worker has requested the services of veteran trade unionist, Senator Caswell Franklyn to challenge what he believes is an under-handed attempt to swindle him of severance payments owed for his 12 years’ of service.
Mapp argued that workers at the hotel were often subjected to gross disrespect from some managerial staff and workers have been continuously discouraged from joining trade unions or approaching the labour department for assistance.
“It’s because I am one of the people who refuses to stand for foolishness,” Mapp said of his current predicament.
“Based on my job description, I am supposed to be a houseman carrying out garbage and taking out the linen, but I have found myself dealing with people’s faeces and opening manholes to lift out faeces, in circumstances where I could get sick.
“We are supposedly ambassadors for Barbados when we are meeting and greeting people from all over the world. Many of them are repeat visitors that have been coming from 2008 when I joined the company. If they see me, sometimes the tourists would greet me or hug me, but management has threatened me with warning letters or dismissal for simple things like that,” Mapp complained.