Local employees of Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko Hotel in Freetown have accused their Sales Director Daniel Sekoni, a foreign national, of bullying and intimidating local employees at the hotel, which they claimed was gravely affecting the moral of the workforce and the general working environment.
An 'anonymous letter' detailing the sales director's behaviour was sent to this medium.
The aggrieved local staff alleged that almost all departments in the Hotel are having issues with Sekoni due to his 'hostile' behaviour towards them.
They urged management of the hotel to replace him and ensure sanity in working environment. They claimed that there have been series of unrests and unease with a threat to protest due to the 'intimidating' behaviour of Sekoni.
The entire front office staff complained that he was always embracing them in front of guests with threat that he will sack them all.
The local staff cited an incident that prompted the Front Office to complain to their head of department.
"There was a huge check-in on that evening, while the staff were busy checking-in guests ,he [Sekoni] came to give irrelevant directives, so, the staff have to tell him to wait until they are done checking-in the guests because the guests come first. At this point, he became angry, and as always started raining abusive languages on the staff. He banged front office desk while shouting and threatening to dismiss staff," they claimed.
They accused the sales manager of bullying a female staff who is working at the Front Office. "This issue has been raised on several occasions to the HR office, but no action is taken to remedy the situation," they said.
The local staff also accused him of almost beating up one of the chief engineer of the hotel for no just reason. They said that the incident has led to a very bad working relationship between Sekoni and the entire Engineering Department.
"He [the sales director] nearly fought with the Assistant Financial Controller because of an issue of payment that the account department had with a supplier which does not relate to him or his department at all," they said.
They explained that a lady supplied wine to the Hotel. "The Hotel has a one month payment policy. The lady came for payment when it was not due. The account staff explained the procedure for payment to her, but she was not satisfied with that and threatened to use her influence to get her payment. She then went to Daniel and explained her situation. Instead of asking what the issue is, Sekoni went straight to the account department and started shouting on top of his voice in an abusive manner. It was at this point that the Assistant Financial Controller intervened and explained to him what had happened, but he did not listen. He insulted the Assistant Financial Controller and nearly had a fight with him," they claimed.
They claimed that Sekoni is the second signatory to the hotel's account, but the Account Department find it very difficult to fully operate when the General Manger is away, as it is very difficult to catch him to sign cheques or any other relevant document.
"You will come to his office on several occasions and he will be nowhere to be found in his office. The Account department views this as very unprofessional. As the SOP states staff should be at their office of work during working hours and not in their rooms," they alleged.
They also accused Sekoni of being too 'aggressive' and 'hostile' to staff of kitchen and Food and Beverage Department.
"The above complaint against Daniel should not be treated lightly. The working relationship between local and foreign staff with specific reference to the above issues is very bad," they said.
The local staff have demanded that the sales manager be replaced to ensure a peaceful working environment.
Radisson Reward is a program undertaken by the Hotel to keep and maintain loyalty of their guests by awarding rewards to their guests who enrolled for the program. There is an incentive for staff/hotel, who exceed the mark of registering guests for the program.
"This has never been made known to the staff since its inception. The staff are forced to register guests and insulted if the registration is not done. If the staff had known earlier that there is a reward for exceeding the mark of registration, it would have served as a motivational tool to them. Hotel receiving benefits for exceeding the pass mark of registration was only made known to the staff in April this year. So if there was such a benefit since five years or more, why not tell the staff about it rather than insult them for not registering guests for the program," they said.
The staff said they have channeled their complaint to the general manager of hotel to see how best the issues could be resolved, but nothing seems to have happened.
However, the Sales Manager Daniel Sekoni denied all the allegations. He said the allegations were orchestrated to smear his reputation after working in Sierra Leone for many years.
Meanwhile,General Manager of Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko Hotel, Mr. George said he has not received any complaint from local staff against Sekoni since his posting to the hotel three months ago. He said that the allegations were tailored to stigmatise Sekoni.