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Tembo Steels Uganda workers lay down tools over poor working conditions

Steel News - Published on Thu, 28 Apr 2011

It is reported that police in Iganga District deployed heavily at Tembo Steels Uganda Limited following a sit down strike by workers protesting low pay and poor working conditions. The strike started at about 8 AM local time, when the workers camped at the factory located at Kasolo village, about 2 kilometers from Iganga town.

Police led by Iganga DPC Mr David Manzi stormed the place to ensure that the strike did not turn violent. The workers complained that they receive little pay in addition to being mistreated by their bosses.

One of the protestors who talked on condition of anonymity for fear of being victimized for revealing information told, Daily Monitor, that \"They give us only UGS 1,200 every day for breakfast and lunch. Then at the end of every month (some) workers, especially the porters, are given as little as UGS 40,000 per month, which is too little given the high cost of living.\"

One of the workers who could not be identified told a police officer at the factory said that \"We are mistreated by the bosses and those involved in accidents in the factory are neglected. About three people were involved in accidents late last year at the furnace but were not given any money to take care of themselves and when you look at them they are in a bad condition.\"

A female worker said that \"Given the bad situation here some of the female workers are forced to have sex with the bosses so that they can get some money to buy food and support their families.\"

The strike prompted the Workers\' Union to intervene and meet the managers to solve the standoff. Unfortunately the top managers were reportedly out of the country and the officials from the union had to engage in a crisis meeting with the heads of department.

After a two hour long meeting, it was resolved that the plight of the workers should be addressed within three days.

Mr Vicent Ojiambo general secretary Uganda Mines, Metal, Oil, Gas and Allied Workers Union told the striking workers that \"So you should resume work as we sort out the matter.\"

But the workers vowed not to resume work before their concerns are addressed.

The officer in charge of criminal investigations at Iganga CPS, Mr Steven Kaija, asked them to always liaise with the relevant authorities to stand for their rights. He said so many workers had suffered accidents in the factory but they have not reported the cases to the police for help. Early last year, workers in the workers went on strike over the same issue but their concerns were reportedly not addressed, prompting yesterday\'s strike.

(Sourced from www.allafrica.com)

Posted By : admin on Thu, 28 Apr 2011
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