Their pleas for salary hikes have fallen on deaf ears as the factory owners keep making endless while ignoring to adjust the hard working employees’ wages.
What remains a fact is the workers’ salaries are poor and should be increased urgently so that they could meet their families’ ever escalating needs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also not been kind on anybody’s pocket and it goes without saying that the pitiably paid factory and textile workers are hard hit.
A lot of them have lost their jobs since the pandemic first broke out in the country in March 2020 with many more job losses looming.
Efforts by the former Minister of Labour and Employment Keketso Rantšo to intervene in the wage scuffle between the workers unions on behalf of the workers and the employers have been in vain.
No matter how many times she brought the matter before Cabinet during her time in office, there was just no going around the issue to finally put it to bed.
The endless petitions and mass actions that the workers held over the years have yielded no fruits because their money troubles have never ceased.
The effect the issue has had over the workers’ performance and productivity cannot be overemphasized but unfortunately the employers are simply not prepared to relent in their quest to remain tightfisted.
Recently, a group of workers unions once again initiated the old fight for the adjustment of the workers’ salaries.
But the unions and the Wages Advisory Board could not reach any common ground because the employers are still reluctant to heed the workers’ cries for help.
The workers wanted a 20 percent salary hike which under the circumstances sounded reasonable and decent, but the factory owners were only prepared to make a silly concession of 4-5 percent increase.
A scheduled meeting between the two parties was postponed indefinitely because the cocky employers were not prepared to meet the workers, citing reasons of COVID-19 health protocols.