While finance minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro announced that
public servants will this year get a zero per cent salary increment, the sun
has shone for textile factory workers who will get a 10 percent increase while
other sectors like construction, hotels and supermarkets will get an eight
According to the workers unions representatives Mr David Maraisane, the 10 percent increment is a recommendation from the public consultations which the government seems keen to see through.
He however highlighted that they are awaiting a gazette
which he said will clearly indicate the increment.
Maraisane stated though that the 10 percent increment is not to what they agreed upon with the cabinet sub-committee last year during the factory workers’ strike which he said stipulated that the increment will be 12 percent in 2019 and 10 percent in 2020.
He said they do not understand how the 10 percent increment
was arrived at without any talks with the unions.
“The workers are expecting a 12 percent increment as per our agreement with the cabinet sub-committee last year and not 10 percent because that was said to be in 2020. If the increment is indeed 10 percent, that means the agreement has been breached, but we are still awaiting the gazette to see how the increment goes,” he added.
He mentioned that they are yet to meet with workers to establish their take on the said increment saying however that if the mass is not satisfied with it, then they will have to map a way forward.
On the one hand, spokesperson of the Coalition of Lesotho Trade Unions, Mr Molefi Lebonejoang, said the proposed increment goes against the agreement that was reached last year saying that their expectation was that this year they would get 12 percent and not 10 percent.
He said the government cannot announce the proclamation that people earning less than M2,000 will get a 10 percent increase since that is not what they had expected.
Mr Lebonejoang emphasised that the increment should be across the board, highlighting that all sectors should get 10 percent and not just factory workers, since all workers need a living wage.
“The increment of 10 percent should be for all private sectors since it would mean that factory workers will get higher increases than hotel and mini-supermarkets workers,” he added.
He indicated that according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) the minimum salary should not be below M2,270 therefore the government needs to re-look into this for the betterment of people’s lives and the country as well.
Additionally, he mentioned that they are still awaiting the gazette in order to be sure of the increment.
Meanwhile as tabulated in Legal Notice No. 63 Labour Code Wage (minimum wages) of 2018 the clothing, textile and leather manufacturing sector employees with less than 12 months continuous service with the same employer shall get M1,696 per month for a textile general worker, M1,823 for a textile machine operator and M1,696 for a textile machine operator trainee.
For workers with more than 12 months continuous service with the same employer, a trained machine operator shall take home a monthly payment of M2,000 while a textile general worker shall take home M1,879.