AccorHotels Appoints New Management After Racial Segregation at Hotel Exposed
AccorHotels is working to rectify racist practices at their Ibis Styles hotel in Alice Springs, Australia after ABC’s Background Briefing program uncovered that the hotel was racially segregating Aboriginal customers from others.
A staff whistleblower told ABC Background Briefing that they were told to direct Aboriginal guests into six designated rooms, which were subpar compared to other rooms in their cleaning and maintenance.
Staff was instructed to perform this racial segregation through email instructions sent to them last June with the manager, Jo McKenzie, CC’ed on the email.
The email read: “These rooms are to be referred to as community rooms and we will try to limit them to just that, those coming from the communities.”
In addition to the whistleblower, ABC’s Background Briefing planned an undercover operation that included two test groups – one that was Indigenous and another that was not. The Indigenous group was allocated to horrendous rooms with dirty sheets, exposed wires and with food, glass or clothing left on the floor and made to pay the same prices as the other guests who did not have the same experience in their rooms.
AccorHotels originally pushed back on the idea of discrimination occurring at Ibis Styles, telling ABC: “Accor is unaware of any complaints from staff or guests of this nature. The hotel welcomes and embraces guests from all backgrounds and cultures that reflects their diverse workforce, which includes 31 percent Indigenous employees.”
However, now the brand seems to be trying to fix the racist situation by setting up “interim management” and having begun an internal investigation. They are also requiring their staff members to undergo anti-discrimination training.
Undercover recordings capture hotel staff racially segregating guests https://t.co/bPkGG7Wlko via @abcnews @Accorhotels can you please point to your statement clarifying your position on this suggestion of racism at your Ibis Styles Alice Springs Oasis hotel? pic.twitter.com/y8c90exqVk
— Aushiker (@Aushiker) March 9, 2019
“At this time, interim management has been appointed to the hotel while we investigate,” a spokesperson from Accor said.
“We are extremely saddened and disappointed by this as it completely goes against our values and track record as a company with over 17 years of engagement with our Indigenous community, through our leading Indigenous programs.”
“An internal investigator has been appointed and we will appoint an external investigator to advise on this review.”
It was also recently revealed that a staff member tried to lodge a formal complaint of discrimination with the Northern Territory’s Anti-Discrimination Commission but was unable to because the current act only allows the victim of discrimination to make a formal complaint.