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SACCAWU’S INTENDED STRIKE (article first published : 2003-12-30)

Cllr Mina Lesoma, Chairperson of the Playhouse Company’s Council, has responded to notice served on the Council last Friday (December 26) by members of the South African Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union, of their intention to strike/picket outside The Playhouse in Smith Street on Monday 29 December.

Members of the Union who are Playhouse Company workers, have indicated their intention to protest against the recent appointment of the company’s new Artistic Director, Ms Linda Bukhosini.

“While we respect the Union’s right to picket in accordance with Section 69 of the Labour Relations Act, we trust that this will be done in a lawful and sober manner, without undue disturbance to colleagues or to members of the public who wish to go about their business as usual,” said Cllr Lesoma.

“With regard to professional activities at the Playhouse, it is business as usual,” she added, affirming that shows scheduled for performance at the Playhouse will go ahead as planned. “The Playhouse Council has every confidence in the company’s management’s ability to ensure that law and order are maintained.”

The background to the projected SACCAWU action is seen as reflecting a degree of uncertainty among particular Playhouse staffers in response to the company’s new high-level appointment which was ratified this month by the Playhouse Company’s Council.

Ms Bukhosini’s appointment is increasingly being tipped by observers as a decidedly positive move in the light of what many have seen as professional and artistic inertia on the part of the company’s management during the past two or more years.

“Ms Bukhosini’s appointment was made following a selection process that was conducted meticulously along lines of the most rigorous professional integrity,” said Cllr Lesoma. “She brings to bear a substantial portfolio of professional qualifications, both as an arts practitioner and an arts administrator, that render her appointment a singularly appropriate one.”

Linda Bukhosini has already submitted new draft plans for artistic development and performance projects, and these are shortly to be presented to the Playhouse Company’s Council at its next meeting.




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