Tuesday, December 15, 2009

This appeal for solidarity with striking hotel workers in South Africa comes from the online labour solidarity site Labour Start.
South Africa: Sun International must negotiate with strikers - not try to break their union:
More than 3,500 SACCAWU members at the Sun International South Africa have been on strike since 4 December 2009 for wage increases and improved working conditions. The country has become one of the premier tourist destinations in the world and saw the company more than doubling over the last few years. Throughout the period of negotiations which stretched over months now, management has demonstrated extremely bad faith, continuously derailing the negotiations, this is despite all efforts by the union to settle the strike. Since the beginning of the strike more than thirty union members have been arrested while other workers are continuously being provoked, harassed and subjected to all sorts of racial insults from the police and private security firms as the attempts to break the strike continue. The last negotiations, just when it appeared that a agreement was reached, short of both parties agreeing on the text of the resolution and signing it the company once again returned to a pre-strike position as the final position. The union is of the opinion that this is a deliberate strategy by the company to break the strike.
Here's an update from the SACCAWU about the present situation.
South Africa: An update on Sun International Strike - from SACCAWU:
Send off your message here!
The international campaign of solidarity with striking workers at Sun International have substantially boost the morale and determination of workers and we have witnessed an increase in numbers of striking workers on the picket-line and other activities. However we have also witnessed a growth in the use of violence, intimidation and provocation of striking workers coupled with other means to break the strike.
• At Sun City hundreds of SACCAWU and COSATU members were harassed and prevented by the South African Police Services from picketing during a peaceful demonstration at the Miss Teen South Africa. When confronted by the local COSATU leadership the police the police alleged that they were instructed by the Sun International Human Resource Director to prevent the demonstration. On calling the HR Director he told police that they should not interfere with the picketers as their action is legal.
• In the meantime we've been informed that the former full-time shop-steward who tried breaking the strike on behalf of management was given a car and booked into Hotel in Durban by the company. His attempts to sabotage the strike back-fired as all the workers in his department have now decide to join the action and the Restaurant that he worked at are closed. • At Board Walk and Fish River in the Eastern Cape the police have removed all the picketers from the premises of the company and they are also not allowed to picket outside the company premises. Further all permission by the strikers to protest has been refused by the Local Municipality including planned protest marches to company premises to hand over a memorandum with their demands.
• At Grand West in Cape Town the company approached the High Court to obtain an interdict against 700 striking workers on the picket-line to prevent striking workers from picketing outside the company premises. The application to interdict our members at Grand West Casino will be heard by the Cape Town High Court today.
• At Morula Sun on Sunday striking workers demonstrating at a Jazz show were attacked and assaulted by the organisers disrupting the picket-line.
• At Wild Coast, Naledi, Windmill, Carousel and Carnival City our members are still strong and participating in picketing despite harassment and intimidation by the private security and SAPS (South African Police Service).
The international solidarity are playing an important role in this struggle by workers against an intransigent Sun International management. We wish to express our gratitude for the support and call on our comrades throughout the world to intensify the international solidarity.
red regards
Mike Abrahams
Please go to one of the links above or to THIS LINK to send the following message to Sun International management.
Dear David Coutts-Trotter
It is with extreme concern that I note the hostility with which the company have engaged with SACCAWU, the union representing the striking workers at all Sun International establishments throughout South Africa. I'm also concerned with the violence experienced by striking workers on the picket-line, including the arrests of a union official, full-time shop steward, thirty-six workers and a guest at one of your hotels. I'm aware that the company has made excessive profits over the last few years and can grant workers' demands. I call on you to ensure that Sun International negotiate with the union in good faith towards a speedy resolution of the ongoing strike.

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