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Raffles Canouan cuts costs to avoid staff layoffs


In a move geared at saving jobs and ensuring the survival of the company during the current global economic downturn, the Raffles Resort on Canouan has implemented a five-day work week beginning May 1, 2009.{{more}}

In a letter from general manager Gilbert Madhavan to each employee, the regional and global impact of the economic crisis was cited. “At the Raffles Canouan, the Owners and the Management have reviewed various options. Our business in the first three months is already down. Our valued and important Special Events bookings are even worse hit. 2009 is looking to be a very slow year for us all,” the letter said.

Consequently, in an effort to control costs, the Company has taken measures such as reductions in electricity and water consumption, strict reviews of purchasing, rooms inventory controls and much more, to ensure the survival of the operation.

Additionally all management positions have been completely revised and reduced. Remaining managers and expatriate trainers have already been scheduled for unpaid leave.

The correspondence with the employees said that in spite of the aforementioned cost cuts, “It is unfortunate but further cuts have to be made – as a first step it has been decided that one month (30 days) unpaid leave will be applied to all employees. In order for this to have the least impact on everyone’s lives, this will be applied as a 5 Day Work Week. This will ensure that everyone still receives a monthly pay cheque and is also part of the solution to survival. It will also ensure that services to our valued guests are not interrupted.”

This 5 Day Work Week will mean that each week from 1 May 2009 to 30 November 2009, all employees would be scheduled to 2 off days instead of the current 1 day per week.

Employees have been invited to share their suggestions for further costs cutting with their supervisors and managers and have also been encouraged not to sacrifice the quality of service to the guests during this period. “We MUST ensure that our services go beyond their expectations and they in turn will be our best advertising for encouraging their friends and family to visit our shores,” the management encouraged the staff.

Commenting on the initiative, Staff member Bridgette King said, “being from Canouan, I am glad that we can still work five days a week while people all over the world are losing their jobs.”