It appears the coverage across the media late on Friday (25th) has paid off – literally. The Les Menuires 7 have ended their protest following talks with company representatives and an agreement to accept half their owed monies now and the rest within a week.
“After a four hour meeting the company has had to back down over itâ€™s miserly offer and has had to stump up some serious dosh.
“This will be overseen by the French authorities who will enforce payment. Failure to pay the sums due (which they have worked out â€“ not us or the company â€“ based on hours worked) will result in a large fine for skithe3v.
“We have been told we can stay in the chalet until Monday morning, which gives us a weekend on the piste (and, of course, in the bars). Thanks to everyone for their support. It has been amazing.
“We would never have got this far without it. From a Facebook page to global news coverage within four daysâ€¦ câ€™est incroyable!
“Lots of thanks, hugs, kisses and love all round to each and every one of you, including those who supported the ex-boss!”
Seven ski hosts in the resort ofÂ Les Menuires in France have taken the dramatic step of locking themselves into a luxury chalet in a fight against their UK-based employer.
Claiming the barricade is their own form of a peaceful protest, this isn’t quite the same as the famous Salt MarchÂ in India, led by Gandhi in 1930s – the group have turned to social media to draw attention to their plight, and seem to be having some success.
While Gandhi may have turned to fasting to capture the attention of the public and the authorities in India, Les Menuires 7 (as the group is now known) are using the wifi broadband access in the property to spread the word.
The battle with ski tour operator SkiThe3VÂ stems from a disagreement over unpaid wages, leaving the group with no means to get home let alone reimbursement for their hosting work.
Regular updates on their plight, in English and French, are being thrown out on Twitter. And a videoblog launched earlier today.
But with accusations flying around about threats being received and the background of the owner of the ski company, Mark Ridgers, the protest may continue for some time.
Lawyers, inevitably, are now all over the saga, according to SkiThe3V.
An official says it has and is still trying to resolve the despite with the seven protagonists in France, also claiming that its workers are usually paid at the end of a month (“it isn’t the end of the month yet”).
Crunch time may come quickly, however, with guests due to arrive this weekend.
It is difficult to second-guess whether the next batch of SkyThe3V customers looking to settle into their Â£1,000/person/week property and head off to the slopes will be as sympathetic to the cause as those joining the Facebook group in support.
NB: As a footnote, the UK’s Daily Mail made a big point in its sympathetic coverage about the protesters being middle class and university educated.
Presumably if the seven were not posh kids and were instead looting TVs from large retailers then the newspaper would’ve handled it differently.