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Date updated : 27-Nov-2020

Status: active

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Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Only a few months after winning the union election , Sheraton Grand Conakry hotel union General Secretary Amadou Diallo and Deputy General Secretary Alhassane Diallo terminated by their employer on October 7 for defending their co-worker who accidentally broke a flower pot. Check out the photo petition with over 150 of Amadou and Alhassane’s coworkers who have taken photos with signs demanding that management reinstate their union leaders.

Please SIGN BELOW to send a letter to the IFC’s Interim Managing Director/Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer as well as the Acting General Manager of the Sheraton Grand Conakry demanding that the union leaders be reinstated immediately.

The hotel, owned by the Topaz group, was opened in 2016 with a significant investment from the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), an international financial institution that offers investments to encourage private sector development in developing countries at preferential loan rates. The hotel is managed by the largest hotel chain in the world, Marriott, where the IUF has an ongoing global campaign. Despite the IFC’s Performance Standards, a set of rules intended to protect workers, and despite multiple attempts by the IUF to prevent the dismissal of the union leaders, the IFC has chosen to allow violations of its own Performance Standards as well as ILO Conventions 87 , 89 , 135 .

We also invite you to join IUF and IUF Africa’s Zoom Rally for the Reinstatement of Amadou and Alhassane next Wednesday December 2nd at 4pm CET as part of the Global Week of Action for Hotel Workers. To register for the rally, please contact iuf@iuf.org

In Solidarity,
Sue Longley
General Secretary

Massimo Frattini
International Officer:
Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism

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Dear Ms. von Friedeburg & Mr. Trilok Bhunjun,

On October 7, 2020, the General Secretary and the Deputy General Secretary of the IUF-affiliated hotel workers union at the Sheraton Grand Conakry in Guinea, IFC project #32408, were terminated by management in clear violation of the IFC’s Performance Standard 2 as well as ILO Conventions 87, 98 and 135.

Despite the IUF’s 10 separate attempts at engagement with the IFC at the country level, the regional level, the sector level and the Environmental & Social level (Aug 28, Sep 1, Sep 2, Sep 3, Sep 9, Sep 18, Sep 25, Sep 30, Oct 5, Oct 8), this violation remains unresolved, and we request that you reinstate the two union leaders immediately.

The Sheraton Grand Conakry has until now been a good example of productive engagement between the IFC, the hotel owner, the hotel management and the union. The IUF was able to enter into a discussion around management’s refusal to grant the workers a union election and negotiated a fair process. The election took place, the union won with a strong majority, and began working with management to resolve issues in this especially difficult COVID-19 context. This positive example is now in significant jeopardy.

IFC’s Performance Standard 2 requires the client to “not discriminate or retaliate against workers who participate” in unions or “discourage workers from electing worker representatives, forming or joining workers’ organizations”. The targeting of elected union leaders in the hotel workforce represents a clear attempt at retaliation for exercising rights under PS 2, and an attempt to dissuade the rest of the workforce from continued union activity as protected by IFC standards. ILO Conventions 87, 98 and 135, all of which have been ratified by Guinea, enshrine these protections and form the basis of international jurisprudence around workers’ right to organize and the freedom of association.

Despite the IFC’s more recent posture of non-engagement, we have seen that positive results can come with constructive dialogue. We ask that you reinstate the union leaders immediately and work with the IUF to remedy the culture of union-busting at the Sheraton Grand Conakry. We view the IFC’s investments in the hotel sector as a promising program of job creation and poverty reduction in the developing world, and we are making every effort to see that promise fulfilled.

Yours sincerely,

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