- Good lesson here for all Ethiopian trade unions and professional associations under the TPLF’s Stalinist yoke. The past 25 years have shown that nothing will benefit those Ethiopians ensnared in the TPLF established ‘civil society’ or ‘civic organizations’. Also TPLF laws and regulations on these are enforced by hired mercenaries benefitting themselves and looking after their own promotions, international travels, homes, cars, and other pecuniary benefits
Starwood merges with Marriott
The 65 workers terminated by Sheraton Addis two years back have finally secured victory after negotiations between Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, managers of Sheraton Addis, and the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF), a global federation of trade unions. The dispute arose in 2014 when Sheraton Addis employees’ trade union demanded the renewal of the three-year-old collective agreement with the management, which had expired in March 2014.
The union attempted to settle the battle through government offices and local confederations, but in late July 2014, the hotel’s management terminated the contract of 65 staff including leaders and members of the trade union, claiming they have caused disturbance of industrial peace at the Hotel.
The union’s leader then went on to file the case to the international trade union for a peaceful solution, according to sources.
Sources said that over the past year, the Geneva based, IUF has approached the US based hotel giant, Starwood, currently managing the luxurious hotel under the ownership of Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Ali Al-Amoudi.
IUF’s top official who arrived in Ethiopia on Tuesday May 3 to disclose the final result to the terminated employees told Capital that several meetings have been held between the international trade union’s leaders and the Starwood’s top management to settle the case.
“We support these workers because we are the federation of trade unions in the hotel sector,” the international confederation official, who requested anonymity, explained.
“We filed the complaint on the guidelines of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development also known as ‘OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises’, which is an international standard we use,” the official said.
“Starwood accepted the mediation and we met in the US for the first time under US mediators,” the IUF representative added.
After the formal meeting, Starwood and IUF agreed to have informal meetings to come up with solutions for the workers and have finally signed an agreement.
The IUF official said that the two bodies have agreed on terms that will be mutually beneficial for employees and the company.
“We have finally agreed and we are satisfied with the solution. They are also satisfied,” he added.
He did not disclose details of the compensation package for the workers, but stated that, “They will be compensated as per the agreement.”
Sources told Capital that the agreement between IUF and Starwood was concluded about three weeks ago, after months of negotiations.
Dawit Samuel, former leader of Sheraton Addis’ trade union, took part in the negotiations from Germany, where he is now based. “More than IUF, I was really surprised by the support of trade unions in different countries, who have held rallies in favour of us in England, Pakistan and France,” Dawit said.
He told Capital that the agreement is a win-win situation for both parties, but details of the settlement and who exactly settled the bill –Sheraton Addis or the mother company– remains unclear.
On Wednesday, May 4, the IUF official met with the 65 workers in Addis Ababa.
The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF) established in 1920 is an international federation of trade unions representing workers employed in agriculture and plantations; the preparation and manufacture of food and beverages; hotels, restaurants and catering services; all stages of tobacco processing.
With a financial membership of 2.5 million the IUF is composed of 420 affiliated trade unions in 126 countries representing over 10 million workers in IUF sectors.
Starwood to merge with Marriott
The Starwood, who manages several hotel brands including Sheraton, Westin, W hotel, the Luxury Collection, and Four Points by Sheraton hotel chains, has agreed to tie-up with the other US Hotel chain Marriott.
According to the agreement concluded a month ago, Marriott will pay USD 12.4 billion to the Starwood. As per this deal the hotel brands that were under the Starwood will be managed by Marriott. The other hotel that is being constructed by Sheikh Mohammed at the compound of African Union has been expected to be under the management of Westin, another brand under the Starwood, management.
*TPLF established Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Unions (CETU).