THERE was widespread anger today as nearly 100 workers at Llanelli’s Stradey Park Hotel were told they were being made redundant.
Full-time and part-time staff were asked to attend a meeting this morning to be told they were being made redundant from July 10.
Senior staff members had been sent an email by hotel owners giving instructions to cascade the news to staff.
So, senior staff who were themselves being made redundant, were told to tell their colleagues that they were also being made redundant.
The Home Office plans to house 241 asylum seekers in 76 rooms at the hotel from July 10.
The redundancy news was branded as ‘callous and mercenary’ by Robert Lloyd, spokesman for the Furnace Action Committee, which has been fighting to save the hotel and the jobs.
“Over the last five weeks, since the plan was first made public, we have had lies, lies and more damn lies,” Mr Lloyd said.
“The owners, Sterling Woodrow (Gryphon Leisure Ltd) consistently said they had no contract in place with the Home Office and the company in charge of their asylum seeker accommodation operations in Wales, Clearsprings Ready Homes.
“For weeks, they lied and said it was business as usual.
“It is only in the last few days that they have shown the ugly face of their greed.
“To dismiss staff without consultation is callous and mercenary, but it is perhaps what we should expect from a business which has operated with one guiding principle in mind – making money!
“The Home Office and Clearsprings lied to the faces of our MP and Senedd member when they said they were talking to staff at the Stradey Park Hotel about their jobs.
“Finally, everyone has shown their hands – the Home Office has been happy to ride roughshod over citizens, Clearsprings have further tarnished a reputation which was already on the edge of the cesspit and Sterling Woodrow have shown a callous disregard for their staff, throwing workers (some of whom have more than 20 years of service) on the scrapheap.
“At the source of this problem is, of course, the Tory Government’s failure to deal with the backlog of processing asylum seekers.
“In their desperate attempts to deal with a problem of their own making, they are now hell-bent on creating further problems.
“Carmarthenshire Council already has a very sound and successful model for housing asylum seekers and refugees. Their method of dispersal in small numbers in the community works, with asylum seekers and refugees being supported and embraced by the communities where they live.
“Placing 241 asylum seekers in 76 hotel rooms, probably on cramped bunk beds and with microwave meals is not the answer. This plan has been hatched with zero public consultation, zero planning, zero risk assessments, zero impact assessments on the wider community and with no reference and dialogue with health services, education services and other support services.
“True to form, there has also been zero consultation about the redundancy process.
“The whole sorry episode is a total scandal and everyone involved, from the Home Secretary down, should hang their heads in shame.”
Workers at the hotel have been told by owners Sterling Woodrow (Gryphon Leisure Ltd to cancel all bookings after July 7 and not to take any new bookings or events from July 7.
On Sunday, a protest march through Llanelli highlighted –
• The scrapping of a four-star hotel
• The loss of 100 jobs
• The loss of revenue from tourism
• The way the Home Office is pushing through a flawed plan to house asylum seekers – without any public consultation!
• The impact the plan will have on the local community and services