RLJ Kendeja Hotel located in Rehab Community, ELWA, Paynesville has been accused of poor labor practices and mistreatment of contractors.
Waiters, gardeners and staff at the upscale hotel who spoke to the New Dawn accused management of mistreatment, discrimination, minimum wage and lack of paid leave, among other things.
More than 300 hotel employees were laid off following the transition from American management to a Ghanaian team, led by Roberta Torkornu.
The New Dawn brings together the Liberian workers at the facility who face frequent abuse and intimidation from the Ghanaian management team.
Local staff denounce alleged mistreatment, illegal dismissals and refusal to pay those dismissed.
Joséphine Vian, an employee of the Official Protection Service (OPSI), a private security company located in Congo Town, claims that while she was assigned to the hotel earlier this year, she was beaten while She was on duty at the establishment by an unidentified Ghanaian national, who was performing customer service.
According to her, the hotel management had asked her not to let any goods into the premises at 8 p.m., but to her utter surprise, a Ghanaian national, who happened to be a friend of the manager Torkornu, showed up there. is forcibly brought in with goods carried in tricycles (Keke), but she prevented access based on instructions from management, earning her a deliberate slap in the ears and then inappropriate dismissal from the Madame Torkornu, for refusing a client.
Joséphine continues that she then called the police and was then recalled from her mission by the Official Protection Service.
An employee of the RLJ Kenedja Resort & Villas, Daniel Fallah Flomo, who served the entity for 14 years from 2009 to 2023 as a waiter receptionist, without full employment, said he was fired for contesting the reduction of his salary from 135 to 124 US$.
According to Flomo, before his dismissal, he was physically attacked by general manager Roberta Torkornu, who punched him in the chest for alleged disrespect, after he requested a reduction in his salary.
He said there had been no new jobs at the hotel since new management took office, revealing that workers were paid $143 less than the legal minimum wage.
“Since 2009, I arrived here as a contractor, I have not been awarded a contract and I have not seen any worker here with a contract; management only pays us hand-to-hand, without a contract sheet. When you ask for your employment status, they fire you without pay,” he lamented.
He alleged that more Ghanaians recruited into the entity are paid between $150 and $300 and given paid leave, while their Liberian counterparts get nothing.
Another employee, who requested anonymity, said the hotel had refused to pay her salary for the past six months, adding that Torkormu, who succeeded Ronald Stilting in 2017, had been brutal towards Liberians.
In an attempt to contact the RLJ Kenedja Resort & Villas, Acting Manager Abraham Johnson was aggressive in response to the reporter’s investigation into allegations of malpractices against Liberians working at the property .
He aggressively told the New Dawn to go ahead and write everything it could, and the hotel would take further action.
However, he denied these allegations, inviting journalists to instead inquire with the Ministry of Labor about allegations of mistreatment and massive dismissals in the establishment, while asking the media to leave the premises of RLJ Kenedja.
An attempt to contact the Director General, Madam Roberta Torkormu, was unsuccessful as journalists learned that she had traveled to Ghana.