Thursday 23 February 2012

teenagers barricade themselves in ski chalet in France

Two Norfolk teenagers are among a group of people who have barricaded themselves into a luxury ski chalet in France because they say they have been unfairly dismissed from their jobs without any pay, Angus Briggs, from Newmarket Road, in Norwich, and Paddy Bartram, from East Tuddenham, had thought they had landed the perfect gap-year jobs when they were employed by Skithe3v to work as chalet hosts at the company’s resort in the Three Valleys area of France. But after working for just two weeks they said they received an email saying their services were no longer required and that they needed to leave the site by the following day. They were also told they would not be receiving any pay. A number of other staff members were also suddenly dismissed, and together they have barricaded themselves in Skithe3v’s Chalet Georgina, just outside Les Menuires, in protest. They have dubbed themselves the Les Menuires 7 and say they will not move until they receive the wages they are owed. Speaking from the chalet, 19-year-old Angus said: “We came out here a couple of weeks ago and we thought we would be doing the chalet hosting job until the end of the season. “As chalet hosts we had been hosting the guests, preparing some meals, and cleaning, and we had done this for two weeks. “But on Monday we were sent an email saying we were being let go, and others were too. “We are both owed about £200 each. “We are quite frustrated - when you do a job you expect to be paid.” He said they would not vacate the chalet until they are paid. “We are making a very peaceful protest,” he added. “We are maintaining the chalet and keeping it tidy and in perfect order. All we are asking is that we get the money we are owed - we will leave the chalet in immaculate condition.” Eighteen-year-old Paddy added: “I was really pleased to get this job and looking forward to it for ages. “I had wanted to do a ski season for several years and it seemed like the perfect job. “But they worked us far more than our working hours and it turns out they were just trying to exploit us,” Angus and Paddy said since Les Menuires 7 started their protest they had received support from people living nearby and also online through Twitter and Facebook. A woman who lives in the Les Menuires area said: “Everybody is talking about what is going at the chalet. It is huge news over here. There is a lot of support for them.” When the Evening News contacted Skithe3v, which has a base in Hanover Road, London, a spokesman said he was unable to comment because the situation was in the hands of the company’s legal team.