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Mozambique: Trade Unions Warn of Increasing Poverty

Wednesday 25/April/2018 - 04:06 PM
Construction workers
Construction workers in Mozambique
Mozambique's main trade union confederation، the OTM (Mozambican Workers' Organisation)، has warned that this year's May Day celebrations will be overshadowed by the high cost of living and the low purchasing power of most Mozambican workers، according to allafrica.

Speaking in Maputo on Tuesday at a ceremony to launch a week of activities، culminating in the traditional marches on 1 May، International Workers' Day، the OTM General Secretary، Alexandre Munguambe، said that high prices if goods and basic services “are responsible for worsening poverty among workers، most of whom are dependent on the minimum wage”.

“To make the situation more dramatic”، he added، “the price of public transport has risen، and the quality of the transport services is extremely poor”.

Munguambe accused employers of opting for short term contracts، even though the jobs concerned are permanent. This was a way of avoiding their legal obligations، he said، and it made employment unstable and insecure.

“Even with clear labour legislation، we are witnessing in some workplaces intimidation and harassment of trade union leaders and of the most active trade unionists”، he added. Employers used this strategy “in order to silence trade union activities، so that they can better deceive and exploit the workers”.

Nonetheless، he urged all workers to join in this year's May Day festivities، which will be held under the motto “Trade unions united in the struggle for labour and union rights”.

This theme، Munguambe said، reflects the position of Mozambican workers on the need for labour rights to be respected and safeguarded. It was those rights، he argued، that are “the basic conditions for increasing production and productivity”.

The theme، he added، is also a warning to those employers who flagrantly violate Mozambican labour legislation، sometimes even forbidding the establishment of trade union committees in the workplace، which merely worsens labour relations.

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