Ethiopia: Bureau Adjourns Talks on Sheraton Addis Salary Increments

by yeEthiopiaforums

The negotiations between the labour union and management of the Sheraton Addis, held over their collective agreement, on Tuesday, January 17, 2011, concluded with both sides agreeing on everything except employees’ salary increment.

The meeting was held between nine leaders of the 650-member union; Daniel Mezgebu, manager of human resources for the hotel; and the hotel’s lawyer. It was mediated by the Addis Abeba City Administration Employees and Social Affairs Bureau (ESAB), and adjourned until Thursday, January 27, to discuss the increments.

While all the points raised about the collective agreement were agreed upon without dispute, they were not authorised to negotiate on the increments, Daniel and the lawyer had said, according to sources close to the negotiations.

Sheraton Addis Ababa

Sheraton Addis Ababa

Jean Pierre Manigoff, general manager of the hotel, had been summoned to attend the meeting, but also said only Mohammed Ali Al Amoudi, the owner, could decide on the matter, these sources told Fortune.

The mediation resulted from a request by the hotel’s management, made while it was waiting to find out from the public prosecutor if its complaint about the union leaders allegedly defaming the hotel was sufficient to press charges. The federal prosecutor has not yet announced its decision on the matter.

The dispute arose when the union leaders asked the management to explain why employees’ payment from the service charges for October had been reduced, in a letter dated October 30, 2010.

Some of the money was used for the back pay of employees as ordered by the court around six months ago, the management responded in a letter dated three days after the letter from the union. The management also blamed the leaders of the union, which was formed in May 2010, of slandering its reputation by insinuating that it had used the money for hotel business.

This is not the first time the management has been entangled in legal matters with its employees. In December last year, the Kera Federal First Instance Court, First Labour Bench, ordered the hotel to pay 19 of its employees, who it considered to be temporary, 615,712 Br in back pay of service charges, bonuses, and tips, as well as annual paid leave, overtime, and 24-hour life insurance, calculated for the time they had started working for the hotel.

It has lost a total of three court cases wherein it was ordered to pay benefits with back pay to around 200 employees.

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