The Sweet Service Award goes to St Elmo Burger and his team at the Mercedes Benz workshop at Century City. The roof-opening button of my car had come off, and the mechanic Jacques managed to fix the problem quickly and at no charge. This is not the first Sweet Service Award that this workshop has received. St Elmo always looks for a cost-effective solution to a problem. I even received a cappuccino on the house whilst waiting for the repair to be done.
The Sour Service Award goes to Robben Island, for its staff going on strike until they receive a R3500 a month salary increase. They also demand that the Island be closed for business on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Workers rejected an offer of a 6 % increase, and an alternative R10000 once-off payment to staff, reports the Cape Times. About 70 % of the workers have gone on strike, and had to be replaced by untrained staff, which was reported to a safety body, which did an inspection on one of the ferries, inconveniencing the passengers, in not allowing them to disembark. This is the third Sour Service Award for Robben Island, a prime tourism facility which continues to be plagued with management and technical problems, affecting tourists in Cape Town.
The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog. Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at email@example.com. Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog, and in the WhaleTales newsletters on the www.whalecottage.com website.
POSTSCRIPT 9/11: The Cape Times reported yesterday that the Robben Island workers are still striking, but have reduced their wage increase demand to R 2000, and have dropped their demand to not work on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day this year. However, they are demanding that some of them be given the day off on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day next year. Due to about half of the workers being on strike, only two of the four daily scheduled ferry trips are running daily. The problem is so serious that Cape Town Routes Unlimited, followed by Cape Town Tourism, have asked for drastic action to end the strike. Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariette du Toit-Helmbold said that the strike affects visitors’ perception of Cape Town as a destination.
POSTSCRIPT 17/11: The Robben Island strike has ended, according to a media release sent by Cape Town Routes Unlimited today.