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May 27, 2021

STAFF REPORTER

2 min read

One dies as govt sleeps on duty

One dies as govt sleeps on duty

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GOVERNMENT’s evident reluctance to effectively intervene in the impasse between the factory workers and their employers over wages has finally had disastrous outcomes.

A worker has died and another seriously injured in the scuffles that culminated with looting and destruction of property on Tuesday night.

Many other people have been injured since the beginning of the protests on May 14.

Some were also arrested, though no formal charges have since been leveled against them.

The government was on Wednesday supposed to meet the workers unions to decide on the way forward in the debacle.

Of course, the workers rightly want the government to publish the 2020/21 minimum wage gazette as promised last week.

If published, the gazette would see the sullen workers earn upgraded wages from the current average earnings of M2 100.

Instead, the government is dally-dallying, buying time for whatever reasons it secretly possesses.

But it does not make sense what is holding Dr Majoro’s government from doing what is right by the workers and coming to their aid.

After all, they deserve the salary increment given the workload they face and the long hours they pull in to earn their wages.

Over the weekend at the ABC rally in Ha Abia, the prime minister made a pledge that the concerns of the disgruntled workers who have been boycotting work for the past fortnight would subsequently be heeded with the release of the much-anticipated gazette, not later than Monday this week.

But to date, no gazette has been seen and no apparent explanation given except that the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has been invited to intervene in the squabble.

Last week the government begged the striking workers to stop their demonstrations, giving its word that it would definitely deal with their gripes this week.

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Empty promises are instead been dished around with no serious action taken to bring a stop to the ongoing wage struggle.

There is no doubt that more ducking and diving on the part of the government will have more dire consequences in the not so distant future.

The properties that were destroyed and looted on Tuesday night will be just a tip of the ice-berg if the government does not come to the party and dance to the tune at hand.

The unions have made it clear that the workers will only return to work if their concerns are addressed.

They are prepared to wait until the government says something meaningful and the upshot of their meeting will determine the way forward.

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