SRC position on the RoyalSechaba strike

05 March 2007

The Students' Representative Council has released the following statement on the current strike by RoyalSechaba employees at UCT.

1. With regards to the salary dispute, the SRC has been informed that RoyalSechaba is current offering an 18% salary increment, 12% more than the market offer. RoyalSechaba is also offering R95 above the Supplementary Living Allowance (SLA). The SRC is still waiting for a report from Independent Commercial Hospitality and Allied Workers' Union (ICHAWU) that qualifies the list of demands. Though the SRC sympathises with the trade union in regards to current salary or wage a level, the SRC is not as of yet in a position to take sides in regards to the salary dispute.

2. With regards to the second dispute that revolves around the restructuring versus redeployment debate, the SRC has been informed that as a consequence of the reshuffling of workers, there would have been an average of 18 workers per kitchen, as opposed to the 28 that was originally required. The SRC is thus highly concerned that as a consequence this would have translated to an increase of the work volume per worker, and that the quality of service provision would then be compromised.

3. With regards to the manner of striking, the SRC resents and condemns the acts of vandalism committed by some ICHAWU workers at Kopano, Tugwell and Marquard. We will never condone acts of violence, no matter how small-scale they are, and call for a public apology from ICHAWU for creating and putting our students in a potentially hazardous environment. The SRC also calls for a speedy agreement of the picketing rules, a code of conduct or framework that will govern the behaviour of both parties during strike action.

4. The SRC commends the executive for their decision to shut down all kitchens and to demand student pay-outs. This decision reflects the position of the SRC (as mandated by the Residences Council) and reflects also that the executive is committed to ensuring that the safety and security rights of all students are protected at all costs.

5. The SRC would also like to extend their gratitude to all House Committee members for demonstrating exceptional leadership during this time of crisis.

6. The SRC would now call for a speedy resolution to strike action, and urge that stability be restored in the residence sector.

The 2006/2007 Students' Representative Council

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