Royalton Saint Lucia opened its doors in February this year, and then fully with a grand launch at the end of March. The all-inclusive resort boasts four hundred and fifty-six suites and promised jobs to about 800 Saint Lucians. Soon after the soft opening, official opening and grand opening, the hotel was able to run smoothly, finally engaging its entire staff. Around that time, workers were enthusiastic about being part of the company and some disclosed to the STAR, “There is nothing to complain about; they treat us very well and even the pay is good.”
However, there were still hints of disgruntled guests, specifically those who got stuck in an elevator on the compound and then circulated a video. There were also complaints that Royalton was poaching workers from other hotels, but the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association refuted that by stating that hiring hotel workers is a free market in Saint Lucia.
Early last month Royalton was again in the news when some of its employees protested about working conditions. Most were from the bars department, and their concerns were flooding areas, electrocution, and insufficient uniforms, among other complaints. Soon after, the National Workers’ Union addressed Royalton’s management asking them to fix the situation.
Hearings were then conducted between the hotel, its workers and the union to come to a conclusion as to how the situation would be addressed but the first few meetings proved to be “futile” according to employees at the resort.
Another disciplinary hearing was to be held on September 11. However, since then workers have claimed that still nothing has been settled. The National Workers’ Union also awaits a way forward. A source at the union stated, “We are not representing the workers, but we’re still waiting on Royalton.”
For the purpose of this article, the STAR attempted to acquire a statement from the resort but it was unavailable at press time. One worker claimed, however, “There is word going around that some workers may be dismissed or suspended and some will get warning letters.”
None of Royalton’s management was able to provide an update concerning improvement of working conditions or whether workers concerns have been addressed. However, a source close to the hotel promised, “The update will be good news.”