Hotel union uses minister to force itself upon Holiday Inn in Dar


(eTN) – It was learned yesterday that the Minister for Labor and Employment in the Tanzanian government has apparently become a willing tool to force recognition of a labor union on the management of the Holiday Inn Hotel in Dar es Salaam, when after a visit she literally ordered the local labor officer to pitch camp at the hotel, a thinly-concealed attempt to force the management to give in to her demands.

Following allegations of mistreatment of staff, allegedly peddled by the union as a tool to force itself on the scene, it is understood, the minister also demanded to get details of expatriate staff working at the hotel, another regular stick employed by politicians to threaten and intimidate foreign operators in a market still often considered as being stuck in the era of the command economy while singing the tune of private enterprise to lure investors.

The hotel’s management, according to a usually well-informed source in Dar es Salaam, insists that a staff association does exist at the Holiday Inn and that interaction with management takes place at regular intervals but that the hotel workers union has been attempting to force itself upon the staff without success, suggesting that they had now resorted to use politicians to achieve their objectives.
Not exactly a confidence-inspiring move by a member of the Tanzanian government, which is on other fronts busy trying to attract more foreign investment in the country’s tourism industry, as president Kikwete publicly stated when meeting with the Secretary General of the Commonwealth Business Council ahead of the Commonwealth Head of Government Summit in Australia.

Adds this correspondent in closing: Don’t invite investors under false pretenses and when they have spent their money turn them into punching bags for political expedience or wrongly understood loyalty to labor unions.