Tsogo Sun Hotel workers on strike!

Tsogo Sun Hotel workers on strike. Photo supplied

About 40 employees of Tsogo Sun Hotel have been on strike for week after the company failed to honour its promise to increase wages in July. The workers are demanding that those who have worked at the hotel for a long time be turned into full-time workers.

Waterfront, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

About 40 employees of Tsogo Sun Hotel have been on strike for week after the company failed to honour its promise to increase wages in July. The workers are demanding that those who have worked at the hotel for a long time be turned into full-time workers.

One of the workers, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Elitsha: “I have been working at this hotel for more than five years now as a waiter but there is no sign whatsoever that I may be a full-time employee. Instead of turning us into full-time employees the hotel hire staff from outside.” This is despite the Labour Relations Act amendment of January 2016 that compels employers to pay equal pay for equal work.

According to ICHAWU (Independent Commercial Hospitality and Allied Workers’ Union), their members working at the hotel also want a 45-hour working week and that when they work during their lunchtimes, as happens in busy seasons, it be recompensed as overtime.

Another worker, who has worked for almost two decades at the hotel said that the company owes them overtime pay: “When we speak to the company about overtime, the company is always quiet. Employees work until there are no customers in the hotel but the company does not pay the overtime money, yet their policy is work as long as we have clients. The company owes me 40 days but I know they will not pay me.”

The workers also want that bonus payment criteria be applied to all employees. Currently the casual staff get a week bonus while permanent staff get a one-month bonus

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In an interview with Elitsha the workers raised the issue of transport home after work.

“At times I start working at 11pm. I have to find my way to work. No one cares. All they want is to see me at work. Although there are trains from Khayelitsha to town around these hours, I cannot risk it. These are very dangerous times. I have to negotiate with a minibus taxi driver to take me home or work.”

The hotel company Tsogo Sun, whose chairperson is the ex-trade union leader Johnny Copelyn, has interdicted the strike but the workers have continued to picket. Copelyn was the General Secretary of the South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union.

The hotel, located at the Waterfront is one of the venues hosting players from the World Rugby Sevens Series.

 

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About Bernard Chiguvare 56 Articles
Originally from Zimbabwe and since 2014 I been contributing to different publications in South Africa. My area of focus as a reporter is on the rights of vulnerable communities and foreign nationals in any country.