Mozambique’s trade union federation condemns wildcat strike

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Flag of Mozambique

Mozambique’s main trade union federation, the OTM, has distanced itself from the wildcat strike, waged by about 600 seasonal workers at the Xinavane sugar plantation in Maputo province Friday and Saturday. The workers were demanding a wage increase of over 100% – from 1,100 to 2,500 meticais (US$ 46 to US$ 104), as well as protective clothing, over-time for working on Sundays, and the right to a day-off, in the event of the death of a family member. During the strike, workers caused serious damage to the company offices, the homes of company managers and set 20 hectares of sugar cane ablaze. An OTM statement issued Monday pointed out that when the strike erupted, the Xinavane trade union committee was already negotiating with the company management. But the strikers acted without giving any advance notice of their action. The OTM, the statement stressed, “distances itself from wildcat strikes and acts of vandalism, which only endanger continued production and also the maintenance of jobs”. “The exercise of trade union rights, including the right to strike,” it added, “should be undertaken within the framework of the labour legislation in force in the country, and always within the perspective of prioritizing dialogue and the search for negotiated solutions.” The OTM called on the Xinavane workers “to remain calm, and abstain from acts that violate the labour law, so that the local trade union committee and the Sugar Workers Union can continue negotiating with the employer.”

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