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Sun fights back over strike

Jan 04 2010 17:41

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Johannesburg - Sun International wants a "high level" meeting with striking South Africa Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union (Saccawu) members to resolve a protracted wage strike, which it considers unprotected, it said on Monday.

With revenues "flat", avoidance of retrenchments and a decision not to pay out dividends, the company also felt various allegations by Saccawu were untrue.

It said it had called on police during the strike only when it felt workers were engaging in unlawful conduct and that it had no choice but to do so to protect its employees and property.

CEO David Coutts-Trotter said various incidents had been reported to the union, and that they had not investigated them.

They also denied the union permission to picket on its premises "given the conduct by striking workers both in the previous 2006 strike and the current strike".

Saccawu had also included five issues in their memorandum, handed over on December 31, which had not been processed through the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.

"And therefore, the company's position is that Saccawu members striking in support of these demands are currently participating in an unprotected strike."

The union was demanding a 13% increase against the company's offer of 8%.

Saccawu national negotiations coordinator Ivan Molefe said the strike had been protected since December 4.

They were however still waiting for picketing rules from the CCMA, with one of the main points of disagreement being whether they could picket inside or outside the resorts and hotels.

"We believe they can still pay more, they cannot now just plead poverty," he said.

They said they would attend meetings to discuss these issues and would finalise a response following a union meeting on Tuesday.

- Sapa

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