Newport fails to pay employees for six months

Newport fails to pay employees for six months

RaajjeMV has learnt that Strada Private Company has not paid its employees at the Newport restaurant outlets, for six months.

A credible source, who spoke to RaajjeMV on condition of anonymity, said that the employees are being told that they will paid the next month “every time.”

Its owners are to have told them that delay in paying their salaries is due to the government withholding money owed to the company, adding that they will be paid as soon as it kicks in.

While the employees’ salaries range from USD 400-500, RaajjeMV understands that the company has refused to pay them any amount.

RaajjeMV has since obtained screenshots of messages sent by the company’s senior officials, blaming the government for their failure to pay the salaries.

In addition, some employees have said that the company has been neglecting their food and accommodation. There are also accusations of some of their employees being blacklisted by the Maldives Immigration, due to the failure to renew their visas.

While Newport restaurant has around 70 employees, they comprise of individuals from India, Sri Lanka and the Philippines.

Due to lack of action from the company, the employees have since filed a case at the Labour Relations Authority, who also confirmed that a case has been filed there.

However, it noted that the validity of the case can only determined after reviewing the documents.

The employees are to have filed cases at Maldives Immigration and the relevant embassies, as well.

RaajjeMV’s attempt to obtain a comment from the company was unsuccessful as its former managing director Zahid Rameez’s phone was unavailable. While he resigned from the post last year, his wife has since been appointed to the post. RaajjeMV was unable to reach her at the time of publishing, as well.

Strada Private Limited, parent company of Newport, has filed a case against the state at the Civil Court, seeking compensation over the government's order to vacate its waterfront restaurant in capital Malé City.

The company was served a notice to vacate the premises in March this year, after failure to pay the MVR 100,000 monthly rent for three months.

The agreement signed by the government and Strada Private Limited states that the former has the authority to take back the plot if the company fails to pay rent.

The planning ministry has since said that Newport View “is now being run illegally.”

Strada Private Company was investigated by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in 2015, after it was awarded the catering for the official Independence Day banquet that year despite not having the experience to cater for such an event.

Its former MD Zahid has also faced various allegations, and three events that were to be hosted there were cancelled recently, following public outrage over the allegations against the company and Zahid; especially over the death threats he made against blogger Yameen Rasheed who was murdered in April 2017.