700 workers fired

700 workers fired

MASERU – THE National Clothing and Textile Workers Union (NACTWU) says 700 employees have been dismissed from work by Jonsson Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd, a textile firm in Maputsoe.
This followed a strike by the workers last week.
The employer is busy dismissing people saying the strike was unlawful and the Labour Ministry and the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) are silent, said NACTWU spokesman Sam Mokhele.
“It is clear we are on our own now,” Mokhele said.
He said they have already informed their lawyer about the dismissals and will take the matter to court.

Mokhele told thepost that the union has suspended the strike “because a lot of issues were brewing” such as the police claiming that the striking workers were dabbling into crimes.
He said the police drove away striking workers despite the fact that the union had been granted permission for the industrial action.
“We then told workers to go back to work,” he said.
“We are looking for the factory headquarters in South Africa for negotiations. We tried to reach the employer but to no avail. They did not respond,” Mokhele said.
He said he strike will resume if the workers’ grievances are not addressed.
He said the union elicited the government’s intervention to no avail.

Mokhele said their biggest gripe is the refusal by the employer to pay retirement packages.
He said the workers are also furious that the factory has changed the knock off time from 2:30pm to 3:30pm without factoring in overtime even for Sundays.
He said the workers are also not happy that the company does not have a clear pay date.
The spokesman for the Ministry of Labour, Tšepiso Montši said the Maputsoe factory strike is unlawful.

Montši said the union reported the issues to the ministry and they have been taken to the DPPR.
She said the DPPR gave workers permission to strike but the employer went to the Labour Court which issued an interim order for the strike to be suspended to give negotiations a chance.
LNDC spokesman Lerato Tsunyane said they were notified of the strike “but there is nothing we can do because the union is striking”.
Efforts to contact Jonsson management were not successful at the time of going to print.

Nkheli Liphoto

 

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