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Praia da Luz workers 'to sue'

Original Source: SUN: MONDAY 06 APRIL 2009

DISGRUNTLED Praia da Luz employees are planning to sue the McCanns, after they lost their jobs at the resort Maddie disappeared from.

On the day Gerry McCann flew out to film a reconstruction of his daughters disappearance, 21 Ocean Club workers were axed.

They were told by letter that as well as the world economic crisis and the falling pound, there was a downturn in business due to Maddie's disappearance in 2007.

Furious staff, hiding their faces for fear they would get no redundancy money, told Portuguese television that they wanted to sue Kate and Gerry for the problems they had caused.

One said: "We worked from 8.30am until midnight just to protect them. We did everything, we helped with the searches, we looked everywhere, and this is how we are thanked.


"Gerry didn't want to come here when the Polícia Judiciária contacted him. Why does he come now? Does he want to push this place even lower than it already is? Hasn't he realised yet that we live off tourism? There are 21 ruined families. It looks like he is mocking us."

And she added that all the employees were thinking about suing the couple.

"We hurt nobody, all we want is our work, to be left alone and that the tourists return. Mr McCann should disappear from here for good. We've had enough of him," she said.


Reports also said Gerry was heckled when he returned to the resort to oversee the filming of a Channel 4 reconstruction.

In 2007, the Ocean Club employed 130 staff members. By last month the number was down to 48.

Now, 21 have been dismissed.

McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "We understand that there are many reasons why the staff have been dismissed - the first one being the global economic crisis.

"About point number four is the McCann's coverage.

"One or two of these people have been vocal about blaming the McCanns, and have been saying they have thought about trying to sue the McCanns. They also shouted at Gerry as he went back to the apartment, which was a disgrace.

"Not to belittle them, but I very much doubt they would succeed and we have not been formally notified of anything."

Maddie was abducted from her holiday apartment on May 3, 2007 while her parents ate at a tapas restaurant nearby with friends.


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