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STRIKING WORKERS MEMORANDUM TO SUN INTERNATIONAL

1 NOVEMBER 2013

SACCAWU MEMORANDUM TO THE SUN INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT

 We the members of SACCAWU; joined by other progressive organs of Civil Society in our common struggle for social emancipation which includes driving the decent work agenda as one of our key immediate priorities; are gathered here today to demonstrate our support for fair and reasonable demands tabled by our National Negotiating Team. The current round of wage negotiations has been unfolding in the context of the rising cost of living for the vast majority coupled with excessive income inequalities where the Gini coefficient, which measures inequality, has increased from 0.64 in 1995 to 0.68 in 2008, which made us the most unequal society in the world.

 The Minister of Finance has acknowledged that 50% of the population lives on 8% of national income in South Africa and recent estimates suggest that the top 5% of earners earn 30 times more than the bottom 5%. The share of workers in national income declined from 55% in 2000 to 49% in 2008. During the crisis, the workers` share increased from 49% to 52% between 2009 and 2010, but has since fallen back below 50%. This is ‘reverse redistribution from the poor to the rich’. And inequality is still very much defined along racial lines. The South African Race Relations Institute, analysing Statistics South Africa figures, show that the median salary for Africans in 2011 was R2 380, while Coloureds earned R3 030, Indians earned R6 800 and whites earned R10 000. This is the story of inequalities in South Africa.

 Overcoming the triple crisis of unemployment, poverty and inequality has been defined as a key national priority which should be tackled by all South Africans for the benefit of the vast majority of the population. We believe the current offer by the Company only serves to perpetuate the triple crisis as it does not bring us closer to overcoming extreme income inequalities that characterise the South African society whilst management’s failure and/or refusal to meaningfully reverse precarious forms of employment within the Company only serves to perpetuate grinding levels of poverty.

 We have further noted a hostile industrial relations climate coupled with management’s efforts aimed at undermining social dialogue within Sun International. Over and above the recent provocative and unprocedural lock-out we have witnessed the dismissal of 14 Shopstewards whose only sin was to voice legitimate grievances of workers at Sun City. This act of provocation occurred within weeks after the Union had raised concerns about a deliberate offensive against Shopstewards across Sun International Units, with Company Executives. Whilst Company Executives had made an undertaking to submit a comprehensive report to the Union’s concerns about a systematic offensive against Shopstewards, with specific examples involving twenty two Shopstewards, no efforts were made to solicit our reflection or contention of how to handle the situation at Sun City leading to the engineered and premeditated dismissal en masse of Shopstewards. This Union bashing approach by the powers that be within Sun International is not in the interests of building a conducive industrial relations climate but is only a recipe for conflict.

  •  We reiterate the following fair and reasonable demands:
  •  An across the board increase of 10%;
  •  Night shift allowance of R5 per hour;
  •  A guaranteed minimum of 160 hours work per month for all scheduled workers;
  •  That the limit for the Housing subsidy should be increased to R 190 000-00.

 We further demand that the Company should desist from its Union bashing tactics, reverse the onslaught on Shopstewards and meet our fair and reasonable demands within 48-hours of receipt of this memorandum. Failure and/or refusal to accede to our demands as outlined in this memorandum will compel us to embark upon an indefinite strike until all our reasonable; just and fair demands are met

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