Textile workers want 20% wage hike

Textile workers want 20% wage hike

MASERU-TEXTILE workers have told Labour Minister Keketso Rantšo they will not settle for anything less than a 20 percent bump on their salaries this year.
And they will go on strike next Tuesday if the minister insists on the five percent she has recommended.
Daniel Maraisane, secretary general of the United Textile Employees (UNITE), this week told a joint press conference of five unions that a strike is unavoidable unless the minister moves away from the five percent.

The strike will include members of the National Clothing Textile and Allied Workers Union (NACTWU), Democratic Unions of Lesotho (IDUL), Lentsoe la Sechaba Workers Union (LESWU) and Lesotho Workers Association (LEWA).
It is likely to bring the whole textile sector to a standstill.

Maraisane accused the minister of ignoring their recommendations.
He said the minister made the decision after the unions and the government’s Wage Board failed to agree.
“The minister has already issued the recommendations on the 21st February 2020 for public opinion for final determination of minimum wages gazette,” Maraisane said.
He said union members have told them to reject the minister’s recommendation.

The workers, he said, are adamant five percent would not help them improve their lot.
‘‘As a result, it does not address the basic needs, subsistence needs and it’s even below the inflation rate.’’

Textile wage negotiations are a generally a combustive and combative affair.
This year, the factory owners are likely to drive a hard bargain after the government arm-twisted them to push the minimum wage to M2 020 in 2018.
The employers have been bitter since then, with others steadily cutting jobs.

Refiloe Mpobole and Garikai Chikuvira

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