Suncoast Casino staff continue to picket over wage dispute
By Se-Anne Rall 13m ago
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DURBAN – STAFF at Durban's Suncoast Casino have been holding daily pickets outside their place of business, in the hopes that management would come to some agreement and engage them on their grievances.
An employee, who declined to be named, said they have been protesting for the last week over wage disputes with management.
The employee, who has worked at the casino for the last 13 years said staff had not been paid their 13th cheques last year.
"The company has also not contributed to our provident fund since March last year. Management has not bothered to budge," he said.
The employee added that the company also wanted to roll out a unilateral agreement on workers' contracts stating they could make changes to contracts without prior consultation with the employer.
"Basically, they can change our working conditions and times or anything else in our contract without first speaking to us. They also want to be able to make our 13th cheques discretionary – no reasons given. They want to also change our leave. We previously had family responsibility and compassionate leave but now they want to combine and reduce it," he said.
He said on Tuesday, police tried to stop workers from picketing.
"They came here and took six of our members and our union representative. They took them to the Durban Central police station but they were never charged. After a few hours, they were released. It's like they are trying to intimidate us," the worker said.
"I am a husband and a father. Many of us rely on our 13th cheques to pay for things. We also have family responsibilities and we don't like the uncertainty," he said.
Bigboy Motha, national organiser for the union Future of South African Workers Union, said the benefits were removed before Covid.
"These are benefits that make a difference to employees. We want the 13th cheques to be paid to employees. Secondly, we want the employer to restore the contributions to the retirement fund in terms of the contract. This is a right for these employees. The employer decided to unilaterally change these things," he said.
Motha said company and the union have reached a deadlock.
He said there were still issues around a number of employees who had been laid off.
Suncoast have declined to comment.