Published On: Wed, Oct 5th, 2016

Attorney’s son terminates contract with Westin after blackmail

GREAT BAY – A conflict between the Westin Hotel and one of its employees took an unexpected turn when the hotel management approached a managing partner of TCP with the request to investigate whether his father (attorney Cor Merx) was busy with a lawsuit against the hotel.

The managing partner in question, Ing. Henk Merx, went ballistic when the hotel management informed him that his contract would be terminated if he did not cooperate. TCP maintains swimming pools for the Westin on a contract worth $50,000. Merx Jr. let the Westin know that there was no need to terminate his contract, because he terminated it himself.

Merx talked about the situation with his father, who indicated that he was not at liberty to discuss his clients with him. Ing. Merx was outraged and indicated to the hotel that he does not appreciate this type of blackmail and that he considers filing a complaint.

The case at hand is about an employee from Jamaica who worked for the Westin via a manpower agency that reportedly belongs to a Member of Parliament whose name could not be confirmed at press time. This agency gives its workers 1-year contracts and demands $1,500 to get their paperwork in order.

Says attorney Cor Merx: “I have an associate in my office who does that for $250.”

The employee had a temporary residence permit under the Brooks Tower agreement. When she put in the request for a second work permit, things went wrong according to her attorney.

The paperwork shows that Babitbay Beach Hotel NV, the legal entity that operates the Westin, had let its employee pay for her work permit request. Merx: “That is against the law. The employer wants to hire someone and it is the employer who has to pay for the paperwork. The opposite is punishable as human trafficking.”

The woman paid for her permit nevertheless, but a query at the labor department revealed that the hotel never submitted a request for it. “That is fraud and against the law,” Merx notes.

The human resources manager at the Westin denied to Merx that no permit request was submitted. ‘She told me that I had to send my client to her so that they could straighten things out. I hung up. Then they contacted my client behind my back and intimidated her.”

From there the story went from bad to worse with the above mentioned contacts with Merx’ son Henk that resulted in a broken contract.

Says attorney Merx: “My son is missing $50,000 income because he has terminated the contract. But I respect him and his wife because their heart goes out to those who need it. He has had a good education in that respect and besides: you cannot buy a Merx for $50,000; that is an insult.”

Westin management could not be reached for a comment before press time.