Clive Palmer
Clive Palmer Chris Ison

Hyatt accused of holding bonuses

COOLUM resort owner Clive Palmer has today accused the Hyatt of withholding staff bonuses from money that has been paid into the hotel management company's trading account by his company.

Mr Palmer said the 650 workers at his luxury golf resort and spa at Coolum on the Sunshine Coast who had each been promised a $500 bonus this week were still without their money.

"This is the Hyatt showing its true colours as a global entity not giving the local workers who  make their properties what they are the respect or recognition they deserve,'' Mr Palmer said in a statement.

"I have approved a $500 bonus for each of the workers as promised but the Hyatt account managers refuse to pay it, which demonstrates what little respect they have for their people.

"I urge the Hyatt to do the right thing and transfer this money to the staff immediately."

On Tuesday, Mr Palmer announced he had terminated the management agreement with the Hyatt at the Coolum resort.

Mr Palmer also sacked the Hyatt's general manager Maurice Holland and ordered staff not to feed him or provide housekeeping services.

The Hyatt won a Supreme Court injunction which has seen Mr Holland reinstated and Hyatt signage restored.

Mr Palmer said poor performances by Hyatt on behalf of the owners and their lack of consultation and commitment with resort staff and the hotel were among the reasons behind his termination of the contract.

But the Hyatt has disputed Mr Palmer's claims.

The Hyatt obtained an injunction, which required Mr Palmer's company to reinstate Coolum bank accounts with funds.

Mr Palmer has confirmed that this has been done. 

A court date has been set for Thursday, March 1, 2012, in Brisbane.

In a statement this afternoon, the Hyatt said Mr Palmer continued to make baseless allegations about Hyatt.

"When Mr. Palmer attempted to terminate the management agreement with Hyatt Regency Coolum, his company took control of the hotel's bank accounts,'' the statement said.

"Hyatt has only had access to the bank accounts since 22 February, following the company's reinstatement as manager after the granting of an injunction by the Supreme Court of Queensland on 21 February.

"At this stage, Mr. Palmer has not transferred the required funds into the bank account to allow the bonus to be paid to all staff.''

"When Mr. Palmer transfers the required funds to the authorised bank account -- and the funds have been cleared -- Hyatt will immediately distribute the bonus payments to all staff.''