The Reporter: By Zekarias Sintayehu
The management of Sheraton Addis has told the hotel’s supervisors and operation managers that the hotel will suspend its operation on Valentine’s Day after 13 years of service. The hotel’s general manager, Jean-Pierre V. Manigoff, announced at an operation meeting he chaired on Thursday that the hotel will cease its service on February 15 unless the labor union halts its squabble with the management, according to credible sources.
The operation managers and supervisors notified the whole employees of the hotel the next morning that the hotel will end its operation on the specified date. The Reporter has confirmed that the hotel will not accept reservations staring from February 15. Around 53 operation managers participated in the meeting, which was held at Lalibela Ballroom.
Meanwhile, the labor union of the hotel held a meeting simultaneously with the Hotels, Tourism and Service Industry Federation to resolve its issues with the management. Though the management had called the labor union yesterday to discuss the matter, it later said that the issue could not be a subject for discussion. The union told the management that hotel can end its operation only if it is bankrupt.
It asked Manigoff why the management had threatened to close the hotel to force the union to drop its demands, according to the sources. They added that Manigoff, however, denied that the management had not threatened to close the hotel and claimed to have said that he floated the idea after consulting with the owner, Sheik Mohammed Al Almoudi, in connection with the execution of the expansion project the hotel was planning to execute, according to the same sources. Manigoff declined to comment on the issue.
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The first African hotel to join The Luxury Collection, the Sheraton Addis was built by Al-Amoudi. Designed by noted architect Kosek Ivo, since opening in February 1998, the Sheraton Addis has hosted countless high-profile events, including Pan-African and African Union summits, as well as New Year’s Eve celebrations with special performances by world-renown artists such as Beyonce, Ludacris, The Black Eyed Peas, Rihanna and Akon, among other guests.