|Issue No 86||02 March 2001|
Shangri-La: Lawyers Take Over from Thugs
By Andrew Casey
The Shangri-La Hotel in Jakarta is hoping to beat its workers, and their union, into submission by initiating legal action in Indonesian courts for US$8.6 million.
In recent days, hotel management has launched a raft of actions against the workers including damage to property, reputation and restraint of trade.
" These actions are intended only to intimidate employees and their union representatives, " ACTU President Sharan Burrow said today.
Ms Burrow - who is also President of the ICFTU-APRO - was speaking from Tokyo where this Asia-Pacific regional trade union organisation is meeting and has resolved to act against the Shangri-La hotel and resort chain in other countries.
Already in Australia construction unions have threatened not to build a new Shangri-La hotel in Melbourne while the hotel and resort chain is in dispute with Indonesian hotel workers.
ICFTU-APRO is a 50 year old peak regional trade union organisation with its head office in Singapore and about 40 peak national trade union affiliates from throughout Asia and the Pacific.
The Shangri-La hotel and resort chain - headquartered in Hong Kong - specialises in setting up facilities throughout the Asia and Pacific with 37 hotels and resorts in this region.
Many of these hotel and resort facilities are in countries where the ICFTU-APRO has active national trade union affiliates including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Fiji, Philippines, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore.
The ICFTU-APRO conference has today expressed its deep concern over the actions of the management of Shangri-La Hotel Jakarta against the members of the Shangri-La Hotel Workers Union.
" These actions include dismissal of union officers and union members," Ms Burrow said.
" The conference condemns recent actions by the Hotel management to initiate legal actions against local union representatives and employees for damages of US$8.9 million.
" Such actions are intended only to intimidate employees and their union representatives."
The ICFTU-APRO conference also noted that the Shangri-La Hotel Group operates the Traders Hotel in Burma and as such will become a part of the broader campaign initiated by the international union movement against companies in Burma.
ICFTU-APRO called upon the management of Shangri-La to respect the rights of employees and to agree to enter into genuine negotiations with the Workers Union.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005