Palmer Drama: Staff left in dark over jobs

ANXIOUS staff at the Palmer Coolum Resort are turning up at work unsure if they will be sent home as more news emerges of the latest stream of redundancies.

While resort owner Clive Palmer was denying knowledge of redundancies on Sunday, long-serving staff was working out their futures after being given their marching orders last week.

It is understood 15 of the 30 chefs were made redundant as well as senior staff across all sectors of the once-prestigious facility.

Other media have reported "up to 90" jobs were cut last week.

The Daily spoke to a wide variety of people associated with the resort yesterday. Some lost their jobs last week; others were going to work but waiting to hear if they still had a job; and others had left within the past two years and were relieved to be "out".

All asked not to be identified for fear of repercussions from the mining magnate.

It is also understood staff have been told to sign contracts guaranteeing they would not talk to the media for "up to two years after they have been made redundant".

The Daily has tried to talk to Mr Palmer, his official spokesman Andrew Crook and resort manager Simon Stodart, but none has returned calls.

One former staffer spoke of Mr Palmer as a man who could be "extremely generous", but had wildly eccentric ideas, was out-of-touch with the market and expected staff to work around the clock.

It has been revealed Mr Palmer continued to try to compare the Coolum property to five-star resorts around the world, suggesting the "reason people aren't coming here is they think it is too cheap".

MORE ON THE PALMER COOLUM RESORT

Mr Palmer was also understood to have instructed staff to "board-up kitchens" in luxury villas because, as the former staffer revealed, "he said families were bringing their own food and he wanted them to eat at his restaurants".

Staff had been asked to multi-task, with highly-skilled chefs expected to do property maintenance or resort "housekeeping".

A staffer still employed at the resort said: "No one knows what is going on. We think there is a meeting later, but we don't know."

Another employee said: "We wish we just knew what was happening."

Close family of a staffer made redundant last week said her parent had been fearful "for months".

The only comments Mr Palmer was making yesterday was a tweet on "three generations of the Rodwell family" having a great time at Palmersaurus on the weekend.



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