DDPR arbitrators on go slow

DDPR arbitrators on go slow

MASERU-THE Directorate of Dispute Prevention and Resolution (DDPR)’s arbitrators have embarked on a go slow that has ground labour cases to a halt.

That means if you have a dispute with an employer today your case is unlikely to be resolved soon.
This is happening at a time when the DDPR is already struggling to keep up with a surge in the number of labour cases triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the past six months companies have shut down, retrenched or cut salaries, resulting in a huge increase in the number of cases in the DDPR.
The arbitrators are protesting against what they see as an unfair cut to their salaries.

Some arbitrators told thepost last night that the dispute has been dragging on for years.
Central to their argument is that their salaries have been significantly reduced since their contracts were changed from fixed term to contract.
They want to be at the same salaries they earned when they were on fixed contracts.

As the Ministry of Labour battles to deal with that crisis, another storm is also brewing within the DDPR.
thepost understands that some DDPR employees have told authorities that any increase on the arbitrators’ salary should apply to everyone because they are under the same structure.

’Mamolise Falatsi, the Ministry of Labour and Employment’s information officer, told thepost that the dispute started in 2016.
Falatsi however said the ministry does not decide how much DDPR employees get.
“We do not determine how much the DDPR workers would earn through their structure made when the DDPR was established,” Falatsi said.
She said the labour ministry has been pleading with the Ministry of Finance to allocate more money to the DDPR.

“We have even submitted that proposal or request to finance and we are waiting for their response,” Falatsi said.
“The issue was not caused by the ministry but the grant. The budget of DDPR is added to the one for the ministry and sent to the Ministry of Finance,” Falatsi said.

“So it is up to the Finance Ministry to determine how much they will give each department.”
“The issue of not getting exactly the amount requested is caused by the Finance Ministry as they are the ones who cut it.”
Tšepang Makakole, a trade unionist, said the go slow is a blow to employees.
He said the action comes at a time when the unions have already asked the government to increase the number of arbitrators.

Nkheli Liphoto

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