How Employees In Egypt Are Being Forced To Take The Shot.
I attended the daily morning briefings a few weeks ago at a famous 5* star hotel chain in Hurghada/Egypt. I had been sent there for a task force to assist the kitchen operation.
So now we were running through the daily agenda when it was the turn of the Human Resources Manager to announce that every employee who is registered and employed in Hurghada must be “vaccinated”.
I was shocked when I heard that. My pulse was increasing. I decided to talk to the General Manager after the briefing. I needed clarification and I also wanted to clarify.
After the briefing I sat with the General Manager and asked him about what we just discussed in the morning briefing regarding the vaccination campaign. I told him straight away the following:
“I would like to make one thing really clear: I will not get “vaccinated”. Period. My body is my property and no hotel, government agency or big pharma company decides what is going to happen with it. I will not get the dose”, I repeated.
“My decision is clear”, I continued. “My decision stands with all the consequences that may result from it!”
“I am pretty sure that you know what I mean”, I told the General Manager.
“Yes, I do fully understand Marcel”, he replied.
“If one of the consequences which may result from my refusal to get “vaccinated” is that I lose my job, then so be it”, I added. “But again, I will not get the jab”.
Well, a few days later I was called into the office of the company’s CEO and I was told in a couple of minutes to pack my stuff and leave. I was fired.
I just can speculate why they laid me off. Of course, the CEO gave me a few reasons. But they were completely farfetched in my opinion.
I also spoke to a few employees and I can assure you that they did not want to get the needle, they were scared. Many people who received the jab were sick the next day and not able to work, including the General Manager. One guy from the engineering department even passed out at work.
The next day, the hotel manager made himself extremely clear. He said:
“Every employee is required to get “vaccinated” until the end of April. If the employee refuses to take the shot than he or she is not being allowed to enter the hotel starting May 1.”
In addition, the “vaccine” then would cost around US Dollar 450 per person. USD 450 is probably more than a one-month salary for a normal cook in Egypt, can you imagine?
The whole drama was playing out right in front of my eyes. Egyptian employees are being forced to get “vaccinated”. They are being blackmailed by the company, well knowing that these poor folks have no other choice because how can they earn their money to take care of their family?
They cannot just quit their job and move to some other place. More than 100 hotels in Hurghada are still completely closed. Business is returning only slowly. People are simply happy to have some work and income.
It is the “brilliant” or stupid, call it what you want, strategy of many hotels around the world now to start “vaccinating” their employees to attract travelers.
This is the logic: If a traveler wants to book a room at a hotel and he or she knows that the hotel staff is “vaccinated” then the traveler will feel safe.
That might work out in some cases, yes. But do travelers really care if hotel staff is entirely vaccinated? Do travelers make this a condition for travelling in the future? I doubt it. I am a frequent traveler.
I predict that this strategy will fail. It is a just a desperate move and not thought through well. Why? Because there some more variables at play.
Now, let us have a look at the situation of this hotel I worked at in Hurghada. Firstly, the hotel was running a daily occupancy of over 90%. According to an official Egyptian government regulation, no hotel can exceed an occupancy level of 50%. How can that be? The hotel is neglecting official government rules because it wants to do business and is jeopardizing hotel employee’s and hotel guest’s health and safety alike.
All employees in this hotel are required to wear face masks all day long. So, tell me, why the heck can all the hotel guests run around without any face mask? Where is the reasoning behind this?
Every employee is being forced to get “vaccinated” but hotel guests do not even have to wear masks, let alone to observe social distancing rules?
Social distancing was another issue. It was a joke. With nearly 1000 hotel guests storming your breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffet almost at the same time, there is no room for “social distancing” believe me. I have seen it with my own eyes, and we all know it. This is not how human beings behave. We are social creatures. We like to mingle.
Oh yeah, we had a government official arriving at the hotel for a 2-day visit. Suddenly the hotel management was terribly busy to enforce social distancing rules and other “safety measures”. The instructions were explicitly given by the management to uphold these extra measures only during the time of the visit of this government official. After he would depart one could go back to “normal”, means no social distancing.
Where is the logic? Where is the professionalism? Where is the concern for health and safety? I did not see any of it.
Do I still have a score to settle with this hotel? Who knows, but one thing is for sure:
I am all against discrimination and blackmailing of innocent hard-working people for business reasons.
Good Bye Egypt!
Check out my BOOK for more adventures, tips and tricks you need to get what you want out of your kitchen career and life!