The Congress of the SA Trade Union (COSATU) reported that hundreds of workers employed by Sun International at its flagship Sun City Casino and hotel resort, demonstrated outside its premises over the weekend. The protesters were demanding the reinstatement of hundreds of their colleagues who were dismissed by Sun City during the week, according to COSATU's North West regional secretary Solly Phetoe. "The protesters allege that management has placed video cameras in toilets and in the kitchens to monitor them," said the secretary.
Between 200 and 250 people were dismissed last week, although the South African gambling giant has denied that they were direct employees of the group.
Sun International spokesperson Michael Farr said that the dismissed workers were employed by one of the resort's four service providers who had decided to take action against them with respect to theft at Sun City. Farr stated that it was not up to Sun International or Sun City to take action, and any issues the dismissed workers and their protesting supporters had should be taken up with the service provider.
Phetoe of COSATU said that there were over 3,000 demonstrators outside Sun City on Saturday, although this number was disputed by Farr who said that he was aware of only around 100 people gathered outside the resort's gates.
COSATU admitted that the demonstrators assaulted some workers who had chosen to report for duty despite a call for a strike, and that also some vehicles had been damaged.
"The Congress of the SA Trade Union (Cosatu) was there to try to prevent any violence," he said about COSATU's presence at the scene of the demonstration. "We are here with police and they are trying to get management to talk to the people. They say if management doesn't address them, they will sleep here."
"My presence here is to ensure that we do not see another Marikana," he said, referring to events of 2012 when scores of striking mines people were killed after confrontation with the South African Police.
In a somewhat rambling press release put out by COSATU about the Sun International demonstrations, it was stated:
"The management of Sun City and Sun International with their trillions must now feel the heat as COSATU Moses Kotane is more than ready to take the battle to them as they are totally not prepared to change
More than 200 workers at this resort have been taken by surprise and thrown out of Sun City by the bully Fidelity Security on allegations of stealing from the employer and no formal charges have been laid against them without, including any consultation with them or their respective unions, SACCAWU and SATAWU.