New Delhi, June 1 (IANS) One of the most prestigious institution of the national capital, the Delhi Golf Club had to lay off 59 staff of its food and beverages division as membership fee has not been sufficient to support their high wages which were over Rs 1 lakh per month for the head cook, and nearly Rs 90,000 for a waiter.
Were the club to continue paying such high salary for a few more months then in four to five years it would go bankrupt, said President Delhi Golf Club R.S. Bedi.
“Rs 11 crore was paid as full and final settlement to 59 workers. This money has come from our reserves. For example, the head cook got Rs 39 Lakh. On an average every worker had between Rs 15 to 16 Lakh compensation, and plus the provident fund. As a gesture, we will ask our F&B outsourcing partner to consider these employees for contractual engagement,” said Bedi.
Last week, the club put up a statement shutting down its food and beverage division citing a high wage bill, negotiated by a committee in 2015, which led to huge losses and threatened its financial stability.
As a result, the lay off happened, and the club had to outsource the division.
Speaking to IANS, Bedi said the coronavirus pandemic has run havoc on the financial health of the club, there was no revenue in the past three months, and it seems the situation, in the backdrop of social distancing norms, will not improve till the end of 2020.
He added that the membership fee of the club is not enough to support the wage bill of F&B division. “We were paying 40 percent higher salaries than any other club in India. In the past two years, we were in constant touch with the employees of this division and asked them to renegotiate the wage agreement.
Bedi said as per 2015 wage agreement, the committee agreed to pay 250 per cent more than the market rate, insisting that the club has taken every step in compliance with the labour laws of the state.
A source familiar with the development said that the every five year wage revision happens, and the wage agreement had come to an end in March 2020. The management had urged the employees to renegotiate the arrangement, as the club’s finances were dwindling in past few years funding salaries of this division, added the source.
According to the club, the head cook was earning Rs 1.01 Lakh per month, supervisor-kitchen Rs 91,452, waiter Rs 87,356, masalchi Rs 60,288 and supervisor Rs 83,585.
“The financial health of our club does not permit us to continue our F&B operations as the same are not economically viable as at current trends the cost will be @ Rs 17.40 crore against a revenue receipt of Rs 12.12 crore from our F&B services at the club,” said club’s statement.
Bedi added that the club will be unable to fulfil its objective of promoting golfing, if it were to compensate food and beverages division losses from its subscription.
“We cannot afford to shift funds from golf to F&B. The golf course was in ruins, we spent nearly Rs 12 crore to renovate it. We told these workers to come to an arrangement where the club survives and they continue.
“We told them the Rs 12 crore wage bill will go up to Rs 25 crore in 2025. But, on March 22, they refused to step down on their demands,” said Bedi.
According to a senior official in the club, the management has worked out full and final legal dues of these workers including, notice pay, retrenchment compensation, leave encashment, gratuity, and LTA.
(Sumit Saxena can be contact at email@example.com)