||Issue No. 173||04 April 2003|
The Fog of War
Interview: Picking Up The Peaces
Unions: The Royal Con
National Focus: Around the Grounds
Economics: The Secret War on Trade
International: United Front
History: Confessions of a Badge Collector
Politics: Stalin’s Legacy
Review: Such Was Not Ned’s Life
Poetry: Osama's Top Recruiter
Satire: Woolworths CEO Denied Bonus After Company Posts Profit
Cole Launches Civil Rights Assault
Protests Target Arncliffe “Shocker”
Abbott, Bosses Turn Guns on Low Paid
Fat Cats Should Justify Salaries - LHMU
Bosses Stonewall Union Dues Ruling
Private Hospitals Pay Out on 15 Percent
Councils on Hotel Workers’ Agenda
Sharon Hammers Israeli Workers
The Locker Room
Trots Bomb Back
Labor Council of NSW
Shangri-La Blue Ends
More than two years ago about 250 Indonesian police officers stormed the five-star Shangri-La Hotel in Jakarta to break up a sit-in strike by hotel union members campaigning for better wages and working conditions.
The Shangri-La chain, owned by Robert Kwok, runs more than 40 luxury hotels throughout the Asia Pacific region and the Middle East.
The confidential settlement, described by one Indonesian source as a "major victory", came as Shangri La announcecd its entry to the Australian market. The chain has won the management rights agreement for the former ANA Harbour Grand Hotel, a 561-room hotel to be rebranded as the Shangri-La Hotel Sydney.
Hotel union members here in Australia participated in several protests and fund raisers over those two years to back hotel workers in Jakarta.
The dispute captured the imagination of union members across Australia with the NSW Labor Council and other State TLCs providing support and platforms to back this cause.
ACTU President, Sharan Burrow, was threatened by the Shangri-La chain with legal action because she dared to speak up for the Jakarta workers.
A number of LHMU members visited Jakarta to support the Shangri-La workers, and some of the union activists from the SPMS, which stands for Shangri-La Independent Workers' Union Federation, came to Australia to brief union members in their workplaces about this dispute.
This was one of the first times that a global federation of hotel unions did battle with a global giant in the hospitality industry.
A huge e-mail protest campaign, first started by the international union website LabourStart sent thousands of angry e-mails to Robert Kwok telling him that people around the world were angry about how he was treating the Jakarta hotel workers.
At one point unions and their members in 30 different countries held rallies and sent protest e-mails to Kwok.
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