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Hotel workers in Timor denied contracts04 February 2011
There is growing alarm that management of a leading hotel in Dili have chosen to dismiss trained and long serving staff instead of following local law and providing written contracts for their workers.
On 2nd January 2011, seven workers were locked out and dismissed from the California Hotel, Dili, for requesting written contracts of employment. Their union, the SJTL (General Workers' Union of Timor-Leste), are standing up for these workers' rights and asking the hotel to follow the law. SJTL is affiliated with the country's peak union body, KSTL, which APHEDA and many Australian unions have supported for over 10 years.
The Labour Code of Timor-Leste states that
"Both workers and employers have the right to a written Contract of Employment."
The General Workers Union wrote to the National Department of Labour Relations on January 4 seeking tri-partite conciliation and mediation as per the Labour Code. California Hotel have refused to attend despite two notifications by the Department. The union also wrote directly to management to resolve the issue but were informed that the California Hotel does not want to settle the matter leaving workers no choice but to withdraw their labour.
This inaction by the hotel, and the lock-out on January 2nd, is despite the owner of the hotel, Brenda Lei Kuansan, promising in December to resolve the matter early in the new year.
The General Workers Union notified a strike on 17 January and gave the California Hotel 10 days notice to reconsider their position, but the Hotel still refused to meet and discuss the issue.
Workers went on strike on 27 January 2011 to protest against these dismissals, to seek reinstatement and to demand that the hotel follow the Labour Code of Timor-Leste.
Almerio Vila Nova, General Secretary of the General Workers Union said:
"Our members are only asking for a written contract. We are alarmed that management have chosen to dismiss trained and long serving staff instead of following the law.
California Hotel have agreed to meet SJTL today to discuss the matter.
Action: write to California HotelAs a future tourist, tell management at email@example.com that you wont be staying there unless they treat their workers with dignity and respect.
Please direct any media enquiries to:Almerio Vila Nova
General Workers Union
+670 724 8482
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