Labour Ministry to hear Sheraton’s dispute

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The National Tourism, Hotels and General Services Labour Union Industrial Federation which is under the umbrella of the Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Unions (CETU), is jumping into the dispute between the employees and management of the Sheraton Addis Hotel.
The trade union filed a claim to the Labour Advisory Board Office under the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA).
The federation filed the claim early last week hoping to bring about a solution to a dispute between the management and employees when the three year collective agreement, signed in March 2011 between the employee’s labour union and management, expired this March 2014, sources said.  
Before a collective bargaining agreement expires, either the management or labour union needs to ask for another deal, according to the nation’s law.
Sources said that the labour union has tabled its proposal for further negotiation and the two parties have not scheduled a new meeting.
Sources from the labour union accuse the management of not wanting to have further discussions. As a result, the labour union sent its claim to MoLSA, CETU and the Ethiopian Tourism, Hotels and General Services Labour Union Federation along with other relevant bodies to get involved in the issue, they stated.
Earlier this month, the hotel management disclosed that the benefits specified in the collective agreement were no longer valid because the collective agreement had expired, according to the proclamation number 494/2006, sub article 3.
“Henceforth, until the new collective agreement is signed, benefits will be according to the labour law, proclamation 377/2003,” the notice written by the director of human resources explained.
In a letter sent to CETU, the hotel management argued that is keeping the labour rights and going based on the proclamation.
According to sources, before it went to the advisory board, the federation wrote a letter more than one time to the Sheraton Hotel management asking to sit for negotiations to resolve the dispute.
The advisory board is expected to see the case this coming Tuesday.
According to the amended proclamation, the affected parties need to begin negotiating a new agreement three months before the original agreement expires. If this is not done then it becomes invalid.
The advisory board office is responsible for settling disagreements between labour and employers.
Capital’s effort to get information about the issue from Sheraton Addis Hotel management was unfruitfu.