Sheraton Hotels General Manager
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Nigerian labor unions have demanded Sheraton Hotels General Manager, Rex A.G. Nijhof be fired.

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Nijhof, a Dutchman, allegedly physically assaulted employees while disregarding labor laws and best practices.

The GM is also accused of converting the entire workforce to casual and contract workers with two-year contracts.

The Hotel and Personal Services Senior Staff Association and the National Union of Hotels and Personal Services Workers wrote to Marriott International, the Sheraton Hotels’ management company.

The Union secretaries Gbenga Isola and Mohammed Usman revealed that workers have been wearing a red band on their arms to register their grievances.

According to the unions’ letter to Marriott, on October 3, 2021, the head of the department and some senior workers will pay a visit to Nijhof to celebrate his birthday.

They recalled that the well-wishers arrived with a cake and a bottle of wine to toast the GM.

However, Nijhof “abused and dehumanized the Cluster Director of Human Resources, the delegation’s leader, slapped him on the chest, and pushed him out of his door to the amazement of others” at one point.

During a management meeting the next day, October 4, the official angrily returned the cake.

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The letter described how Nijhof took over a room that had previously been assigned to the Director of Security and used it as a location for emergency response.

“Mr. Rex turned the room into a bicycle parking lot while the man was still inside before being ejected.” “Millions of naira were spent on brand new items for his own apartment in the hotel,” the statement said.

The unions also accused Nijhof of granting permanent status to those he hired while dismissing casual workers who had faithfully served Sheraton for ten years.

“Mr. Rex has created serious unease in the minds of the workforce because if the Director of Human Resources can be dehumanized in this manner, it implies that no one is safe,” the letter continued.

Nijhof had set a “very dangerous precedent,” according to HAPSSSA and NUHPSW.

“In light of this very unfortunate situation, we demand Mr. Rex’s immediate resignation to save the hotel from the pending shame and ridicule his actions are bringing to the hotel and the entire workforce,” the letter said.

Nanji Tyem, Sheraton Hotels’ Director of Communications, confirmed an investigation was underway in a statement on Tuesday.

“We take these serious allegations very seriously, and our regional team launched an investigation as soon as they were brought to our attention.”

“We recognize that this is a troubling situation for our hotel team, but we are continuing to work through the findings with our union partners,” he said.

Tyem emphasized that the company’s top priority is the safety and well-being of its employees and guests.

Nijhof was named General Manager of the Sheraton Lagos, Sheraton Abuja, and Four Points by Sheraton properties in Nigeria by Marriott International in December 2020.

Nijhof has worked in the hospitality industry for over 30 years, the majority of which he spent with the Marriott International brand.

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