Opinion: Timeshare

POSTED: 11/18/11 5:12 AM

By next Wednesday, or Friday the latest, we will have the ruling in the legal dispute between the Wifol union and the Simpson Bay Resort and Royal Resorts.
Yesterday parties were in court in summary proceedings. This time the Wifol demands a ban on the execution of a ruling the appeals court handed down on November 4. That ruling gave the timeshare resort the freedom to send home Wifol-employees without pay.
It’s not an ideal situation – not for the employees who were sent home and not for the resort. While there are temp workers at the resort, management is not able, or willing, to hire others until the legal dispute has been settled.
That’s understandable, and for the workers involved it is a double-edged sword. On the one hand they are sitting at home without an income; on the other hand they don’t have to rush into signing new contracts with less favorable conditions.
Obviously, this situation needs to be resolved. The confusion after the November 4 ruling is fully due to a blunder by the appeals court. It ruled that Wifol’s memorandum in reply had been submitted too late and it was therefore not part of the procedure. When the Wifol-attorneys objected, with right and reason, the same day, the appeals court corrected its ruling already on Monday morning.
But the outcome was disappointing. The court now said that indeed the memorandum was submitted in time, but that it still did not change a thing.
Wifol feels short-changed, wondering how the appeals court managed to study its memorandum between Friday and Monday morning and still arrive at the same conclusion, namely, that the timeshare resort is not bound by the collective labor agreement the previous owner signed with the union.
The resort has claimed on several occasions that it needs to cut cost. The Wifol attorneys say that it’s about $200,000 – a tidy sum – but the attorney for the resort claims that it is about $1.2 million – an even tidier sum.
Again the argument was brought up that if those cost cutting measures are not put in place, the resort will keep bleeding money and in the end it will have to close.
We find it most unfortunate that the blunder by the appeals court has brought about this situation. No matter what next week’s court decision will look like, somebody is bound to be left with a very bitter taste in his mouth.
Companies must be able to turn a profit if they want to stay in business. But those same companies must offer their employees decent conditions to achieve their goals. We’re not at all familiar with the details of the collective labor agreement Wifol signed with the old Pelican resort club, the predecessor of the Simpson Bay Resort, but those conditions are relatively unimportant for the point we want to make.
The thing is, the employees that are now in limbo, could be rehired, but the conditions (read: salaries) will be less. How will that affect the company’s operations? Timeshare is a service industry and its customers expect service with a smile. Unfortunately, salary-cuts tend to wipe the smiles of peoples’ faces.

Did you like this? Share it:
Opinion: Timeshare by

Comments are closed.