Gap year students stage ‘peaceful protest’

27th Feb 2012
Written by: Macca Sherifi

Gap year students stage 'peaceful protest'

A gap year is all about new experiences, though a peaceful protest probably wasn't what this group of gappers had in mind.

Seven British ski resort workers have barricaded themselves into a ski lodge in the French Alps in a 'peaceful protest'.

The seven, made up of graduates and gap year students, have staged a 'sit-in', claiming that the owner of the luxury ski lodge is exploiting casual labour.

The group are calling themselves 'Les Menuires 7' (after the name of the ski resort) and they claim they're owed £3,400 in travel expense and three weeks' work.

The group all work for Skithe3V, a London-based ski company that owns two luxury chalets in Les Menuires in the French Alps.

They were rushed out to bolster numbers for the half term and to continue working until the end of the ski season. However, after three weeks the company announced they were no longer required and that they must leave the next day.

They were told that they were all sacked, and an e-mail was sent round claiming that they had abused company rules in relation to things like 'rubbish clearance', 'uniform codes' and 'fragrant disrespect for our company'.

Gap year students stage 'peaceful protest'

Aanya Madhani, 22, a Cambridge University graduate from Ilford, Essex, who started work for Skithe3v on the 1st February, told The Telegraph: "He needs to be exposed so that he cannot do it again.

"We were all told it was a job for the entire season. We worked hard and we expect to be paid.

"We will not leave until he pays us. He is just trying to exploit us. We just want to make sure that it does not happen again.

"The money is not relevant. We couldn't care less. It is the principle. He has picked on the wrong people this time."

Aanya is staging the protest with gap year students Paddy Bartram and Angus Briggs, both aged 19 and from Norwich, Rachael Smethurst, 22, of Bolton, Lucy Hayes, 21, of Crowborough, East Sussex, and married couple David and Hayley Haines, both 47, from Devon.

A Facebook page has been set up to spread the word of 'Les Menuires 7' and they're already up to 4,900 likes, showing the power of social-media.

And according to Facebook, 'Les Menuires 7' posted this message:

"After a four hour meeting the company has had to back down over it's miserly offer and has had to stump up some serious dosh. We've received half of what we are owed in cash and the rest will follow at the end of the month. This will be overseen by the French authorities who will enforce payment. Failure to pay the sums due (which they have worked out – not us or the company – based on hours worked) will result in a large fine for skithe3v. In addition, we believe the company have had to register in France for tax purposes and will have to formally employ all future staff, declare them, pay taxes and social security on their wages and keep proper records of hours worked. Brilliant!

"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 days… c'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! Life is good and we're Les Menuires 7…"

We attempted to contact Skythe3V to comment but they were unavailable.

What do you think gappers? Do you think they're right to stage a protest? What would you do?


Fiji Sports Coaching

from £495

7 - 140 days


Inject much needed enthusiasm and creativity into the children's lives and become more than just a sports coach as you...

In-Class TEFL Course in Shanghai

from £1290

20 days


Join our 4-week TEFL in-class course in Shanghai and become a TEFL/TESOL certified teacher of English as a foreign language.

Jewels Of The Nile

from £219

9 days


Discover the gems that lie along the Nile in luxury and style. Embark on a comfortable journey along the Nile...

International Marketing & PR Internship In China

from £835

30 days


China maintains one of the largest economies across the globe and is a prime destination for students and young professionals...

Costa Rica Wildlife Conservation

from £695

7 - 180 days

Costa Rica

Carry out groundbreaking survey work in Costa Rica's remote habitats and help combat the effects of Global Warming as you...

Shark Conservation in Indonesia

from £750

14 days


Join our research team in paradise and work alongside experienced marine biologists while earning your PADI Dive certification all the...

Volunteer Teaching English in Vietnam

from £200

7 - 168 days


Volunteer with Teaching English volunteer project in Vietnam. Located in Ho Chi Minh.

Backpacking Tour of Thailand and Laos

from £576

12 days

Laos, Thailand, Vietnam

Maximize your time in South East Asia on our 12-day tour of Thailand and Laos. The local and western guides...

In-Class TEFL Course in Bundoran

from £1400

20 days


Join our 4-week TEFL in-class course in Bundoran and become a TEFL/TESOL certified teacher of English as a foreign language.

International Arts Internship In Indonesia

from £1035

30 days


Indonesia in recent years has shown a tremendous growth in interest for the culture and arts industry.


Kruger Experience – Lodge (3 days)

from £560

No holiday to South Africa would be complete without a safari - a chance to spot Africa's Big Five and...

Indonesian Island Cruise (Panorama II)

from £2225

There’s no question that Bali’s a beauty, but just beyond Indonesia’s popular holiday island there’s a vast new world to...

Galápagos — North, West & Central Islands aboard the Yolita

from £3149

The Galápagos Islands all have one thing in common; beautiful landscapes and incredible wildlife. (Okay, that’s technically two things, but...

Galápagos — South & Central Islands aboard the Estrella del Mar

from £1849

Hop aboard the Estrella and spend five days travelling through the southern and central Galápagos Islands, witnessing firsthand what makes...

Sailing Thailand – Phuket to Phuket

from £879

Go island-hopping in Thailand and experience some of the best snorkelling in the world. Enjoy a week aboard our sailing...

Mountain Gorillas to the Mara

from £530

Picture this: trekking through the lush highlands of Uganda and stopping to hang out with the majestic mountain gorillas at...

Bite-size Break Lima

from £445

Embark on a short but delicious break in luscious Lima. Learn local cooking secrets, discover exotic fruits, listen to the...

Lima to Rio

from £5426

On your marks, get set, go! This incredible Overland adventure from Lima to Rio will blow your mind. Enjoy the...

Peru Panorama

from £1999

Spot macaws in the jungle and caimans on the riverbanks, sail the waters of Lake Titicaca, delight in the smells...

Best of Georgia & Armenia

from £1015

Georgia and Armenia may sound like unconventional destinations, but trust us, they ought to top your list of places to...

[contact-form-7 id="4" title="Contact form 1"]