uShaka Marine World employees down tools

People hoping to visit Africa’s largest aquarium will have to place their plans on hold as the facility is closed due to protest action.

uShaka Marine World in Durban will shut down temporarily from today due to a wage dispute between the theme park and the union representing its workers.

The theme park’s workers issued management with a strike notice after arriving at a stalemate during wage negotiations.

An entity of the eThekwini Municipality-owned entity, uShaka Marine World has, over the past few months, been engaged in salary increase negotiations with the South African Municipal Workers Union which represents the employees.

uShaka CEO Ndabo Khoza said on Friday that despite the employer’s best endeavours, the parties could not come to an agreement, and the matter is being referred to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration for intervention.

“This has led to the union opting to exercise its constitutional right in terms of the Labour Relations Act, by declaring industrial action in the form of a strike and picketing outside the park premises,” said Khoza.

Forty-eight hours of notice to strike was given to the employer by the union on Friday.

“uShaka Marine World respects the constitutional right of employees to strike as they deem it appropriate under the circumstances. The employees are also expected to exercise their rights peacefully in accordance with the law and to respect the employees who have opted not to participate in the industrial action,” said Khoza.

Khoza added that the municipal entity apologises for any inconvenience caused, and updates will be provided.

“The entity is committed to providing [a] quality guest experience, and the commencement of the industrial action will have an impact on our ability to deliver on this promise. In light of this, the entity has considered the business risks and has resolved to close the park to the public, effective today, for the corresponding period of the industrial action.”

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