Right to collective bargaining
In 2023, workers at the Sheraton Grand Conakry in Guinea were engaged in an ongoing labour dispute over the firing of two elected trade union leaders.
After a year of actions demanding their reinstatement, on 26 October 2021, workers submitted a strike notice demanding their representatives were rehired and a renewed respect for freedom of association from management. When negotiations between workers and management faltered, union delegates announced their intent to declare a strike on 7 December 2021. Three days later, on 10 December, the management of the hotel announced to workers that, due to an alleged mould contamination, the entire hotel would close for repairs, and this would necessitate worker lay-offs.
While initially the hotel supplied no information about the terms of the lay-offs, after protests and press coverage, the management agreed to pay 30 per cent of the workers’ wages during the closure. Subsequent mobilisations pushed management to increase pay to 50 per cent during the closure, but workers continued to mobilise for full pay.
After an initial six-month period of closure, in August 2022, the Sheraton Grand Conakry's management announced its plan to terminate most workers’ contracts until the hotel reopened. In government-mandated negotiations over the planned retrenchment, the hotel owner, Palma Guinea, and the operator, Marriott, refused to provide workers’ union FHTRC-ONSLG, or the Guinean government, with documentation that outlined the alleged mould problem or the timeline for its remediation. Despite the Guinean Labour Inspector and Ministry of Labour’s proposal to preserve employment by extending the ‘temporary unemployment’ period for up to two years while the hotel was renovated, hotel management refused to engage in good faith negotiations.