BOTHA-BOTHE- WORKS on the Marakabei to Monontša road could soon be disrupted as workers have received the Directorate on Dispute Prevention and Resolution (DDPR) permission to strike over their demands for pay rise.
The workers approached the DDPR last November after failing to agree with their employer, China Geo Engineering Corporation (CGEC), over their grievances, among others, they demand a pay rise and improvement of working conditions.
Represented by the Construction, Mining, Quarrying and Allied workers union (CMQ) in the wage dispute, the workers want to be paid a minimum salary of M5000 per month as an international wage standard as opposed to the M2,771 domestic industry standard they are receiving.
CGEC was in 2018 awarded the M900 million tender by the government to construct the 60-kilometre road, which would form an international link between Lesotho and South Africa.
The construction involves upgrading the dirt road to a bitumen standard. It commenced in 2019 and is expected to be completed next year.
However, the impending workers’ strike could push back the project’s completion, which has already been delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The DDPR on Tuesday published the strike rules for the workers to abide by during their demonstration.
“This is an agreement between CMQ and the China Geo Engineering Corporation in relation to the conduct of an industrial strike should there be any,” the strike rules read in part.
“That there shall be picket marshals whose duty will be to ensure that both parties comply with the terms of this agreement and the provisions of the Code and any other applicable laws.
“The applicant union will engage in a strike action in the form of a complete stoppage of work;
“The applicant union will picket outside the employer’s gates on the nearby tarred road and not enter the employer’s premises. The picketers will not hinder anyone from entering or exiting the workplace.
“The picketers will also not hinder anyone from performing their work duties.”
“Both parties bind themselves to abide by the provisions of the Labour Code order 24 of 1992 and the Labour Code (Codes of Good Practice or any other applicable laws during the conduct of the strike action’
“Picketers will be provided with toilet facilities outside respondent’s premises and in doing so they will undertake not to vandalize or destroy such facilities.
“Both parties agree that they will approach the DDPR for further conciliation on the issues as and when necessary.”
Mr Robert Mokhahlane, who is the General Secretary of CMQ told Lesotho Express they would soon notify the employer of the date on which they would commence their strike in order to compel him to give in to their demands.
He said 132 workers last Friday voted in favor of a strike with 22 voting against it during an exercise conducted by the DDPR at the employer’s premises.
The company employs an estimated 300 workers.