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Factory workers strike persists

Factory workers in Maputsoe refuse to go back to work

May 24, 2021 2 min read

2 min read

FACTORY workers in Maputsoe remain in the dark as to whether or not to return to work, following their week-long demonstrations for improved wages.

The workers want the government to release gazettes for 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 salary increment.

In 2018 they managed to negotiate a M2 120 minimum wage and now they want an increment of 12 percent from their initially proposed 20 percent. 

“Although a directive from our factory said employees should report to work on Wednesday May 26, it is not clear as to whether or not the gazettes will have been released by then. For us who opted to continue working, it will be risky because many factories, with workers inside, were attacked by the protesters last week,” Mpefole Senatla who works for the Letsema Factory told Metro on Monday.

Another worker, Selebalo Habojaloe, complained that he only received M450 as salary due to the strike that led to other working days being not paid for by the employer because he was absent from work.

“I really do not know how my family is going to survive the coming month with commodities prices currently on the rise. My biggest fear now is being fired should the strike persist,” he said.

The Deputy General Secretory of NACTWU Tšepang Makakole has since shot down allegations doing rounds that some factory workers were fired after their week-long demonstrations.

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He said they are still waiting for feedback after the unions’ meeting with the Cabinet Sub-Committee, adding that there are no reports of any dismissed workers.
Mr Makakole agreed that if any workers lose their jobs now, that would be disastrous as most of them are going to earn less money due to the ongoing strikes.
''We are puzzled by the rumours but we know that there is no smoke without fire,” he said, adding that their strikes are still continuing until the release of the gazettes.
“We will fight for our freedom and rights until we are heard, we cannot afford to be taken for granted forever,” he also said.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro announced at the All Basotho Convention (ABC) rally in Ha Abia, Maseru that he has ordered the wages committee to finalise the issue around the pending gazettes by Monday.

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