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Shopsteward Volume 27: Special Bulletin

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COSATU Today  |  COSATU Press Statements


Details of Sun International striking workers protest marches

Wild Coast Sun

Meeting point - Ebenezer Junior Secondary School, Bizana, from 8:30 am.

March will start at 12h00 and proceed to Wild Coast Sun where a memorandum will be handed over management at Wild Coast Sun.

We expect about more than five hundred striking workers, members of our alliance partners and the community to join the march

Sun City

Workers will gather at the T-junction on the N4 from Pretoria (close to Kwa Maritane Hotel) at 11.am

March will proceed along the N4 from 12pm

Memorandum will be handed over management at Sun City at 14h00

Marches will disperse at 16h00

We expect more than two thousand striking workers, members of our alliance partners and the community to join the protest march.

Copies of the memorandum ill be made available to the media at the march

Sun International striking workers to march on Sun City and Wild Coast Sun

In the light of the failure by management to seriously work towards resolving the dispute between Sun International and SACCAWU, our members will proceed with mass pickets and marches in various parts of the country on the 31st of December. These actions will be coupled with secondary /solidarity strikes by our members employed at Alpha SPAR, Squires Loft establishments and other Companies organised under the banner of SACCAWU at Sun City Resorts as well as Fedics at Carnival City. Further secondary strikes, jointly with other COSATU affiliates, is also under consideration and so far, the COSATU Moses Kotane Local is working all out to mobilise other Affiliates. This is part of our ongoing campaign to intensify pressure on management to negotiate in good faith towards resolving the strike.

We note with disappointment that the attitude of top management throughout this dispute has been plagued by negotiating in bad faith. In fact, the decision by Mr. David Coutts-Trotter, the CEO of Sun International, to go on vacation while faced with the biggest strike at Sun International in recent times is an example of the disdain and arrogance with which the company has been treating the Union and striking workers throughout the dispute.

Instead, the company has relied on private security, Metro Police, SAPS and middle and junior managers to assault, insult, frustrate and disrupt striking workers on the picket-line. On the picket-lines our striking members have been subjected to extreme provocation and abuse including being insulted in the most despicable sexual and racial language. While these tactics, clearly designed to break the strike, by calling workers “kaffirs” and threatening to push security batons up women strikers private parts, the unity of the workers has not been broken, if anything they have become more determined in their unity and action. We are concerned with the role private security companies like Magnun Shield are playing in fuelling violence and racial tensions as well as the sexual abuse our members are subjected to by employees of this company and intend mobilising organised workers in the sector for solidarity action.

It is clear that the racism prevalent at Sun International and recently exposed by COSATU, now reveals itself as the company becomes desperate to break the strike.

It is in this context and the intransigence of the company that we have decided to intensify pressure on the Company.

In addition to ongoing international on-line campaign, through Labour Start, that saw more than a thousand letters written to the Company CEO, we have now also communicated with the International Union of Food workers to explore ways of further intensifying international pressure, including if necessary to communicate with FIFA about working conditions in the hospitality sector, in particular Sun International. SACCAWU also intends setting up meetings with the FIFA LOC and the Ministry of Police to discuss the problems faced by our members during the strike including the issues of racial and sexual abuse as well as the issue of violence striking workers are subjected to.

The first of the actions in the intensification of the strike will be mass marches at Sun City and Wild Coast resorts planned for 31 December 2009. Mass pickets with support from COSATU and the community. SACCAWU has also begun mobilising the local and international community to boycott Sun International until the dispute is resolved.

# An across the board increase of 13%
# The extension of the bargaining unit to cover Union members who do not benefit from collective agreements
# Payment of all tips to employees
# An end to averaging of working hours
# An increase in the proportion of core employees
# An increase to the night shift allowance

Whilst we are still fully committed to finding an amicable settlement to the current strike and dispute we also note that the absence of the Company’s Chief Executive Officer makes it impossible to find such a settlement as soon as possible since he is the one who has to mandate the Company’s negotiating team.

Mike Abrahams

Head Office 0114038333

mike abrahams 0761380394

Lucas Ramatlhodi 0823365325