Sun International, Saccawu in wage increase battle

2015-09-25 21:09
According to the charge sheet, Mitchells illegally took possession of her clients’ ID documents and bank cards, including ATM access cards, or SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) cards. (Fin24)

According to the charge sheet, Mitchells illegally took possession of her clients’ ID documents and bank cards, including ATM access cards, or SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) cards. (Fin24)

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Cape Town - The South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union took to the streets on Friday over a wage dispute with Sun International.

Saccawu wants an 8% wage increase.

Sun International, however, is offering 7%.

Bonginkosi Nqulwana, national chairperson of the Sun International South Africa Shop Stewards Council, said the union will not budge on its demand.

"The cost of life is increasing by the day. The workers can't afford to survive financially," he said.

"The company can afford to meet our demands. The employees are suffering."

The union is also calling for a 33% housing subsidy increase from R600 to R900.

A hostess, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisal, said she was currently struggling to keep her head above water.

"The annual increase Sun International is offering us is a joke," she said.

"I have a six-month-old baby... but I can barely afford to buy him nappies. Yet I work myself half to death for this rich company every day.”

A chef, who also asked not to be named, agreed that Sun International "can afford to pay us better than slaves".

"When we question our pathetic raises we are not taken seriously. They are taking us for fools. We deserve better wages," she said.

Working hours have also decreased, affecting her pocket even more, the woman said.

Demands 'completely unreasonable'

But Sun International spokesperson Michael Farr said the demand was "much more complex than an 8% increase".

He said after workers from a service provider lost their jobs, the company employed them in April.

The workers received a wage adjustment to put them on the same scale as employees at Sun International, said Farr.

He went on to say that a second group of workers was subsequently employed whose salaries were on the same level and above those of the company's employees.

The first group would only qualify for an increase in July 2016, while the second group was being offered the 7% increase.

Furthermore, Farr said the union last year accepted the 120 hours offered for permanent part-time workers during a restructuring process.

"They are now demanding 160 hours, which means an increase of 33% in wages," he said.

Sun International is also prepared to increase workers' housing subsidies by 8%, he said.

Farr called the demands "completely unreasonable", but added that the company was open to further discussions with Saccawu.

Read more on:    sun international  |  saccawu  |  labour

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