IndustriALL affiliate, Independent Democratic Union of Lesotho, is not giving up on its demands for decent wages. An organizing rally in Maseru, Lesotho on 6 August was attended by over 100 workers, mainly young women workers, organizers and shop stewards.
Moleboheng Koqo from the Middle Sky textile factory in Maseru was at the rally.
“We came because we want salary increases that improve workers’ livelihoods. At our factory we are demanding an increase of 21 per cent from our current wages of US$106. We are also demanding to be paid overtime.”
Women constitute over 90 per cent of workers in the low wage textile sector where average wages are less than US$100 per month.
The union demanded decent wages, full pay while on maternity leave, doubling maternity leave for textile workers from six to 12 weeks as is the case in the public service, improved health and safety conditions, job security and workers’ rights, better labour dispute resolution, and the establishment of a labour court, at the event.
The ministers of mines and energy, and small business enterprises attended the event and promised to consider the demands. The same demands were made to the country’s Prime Minister, Thomas Thabane, a few weeks ago.
The rally was organized as part of IndustriALL’s union building project in Lesotho.
Tendai Makanza, IndustriALL union building project coordinator for Sub Saharan Africa, says:
“We hope the government will respond to the wage demands on time as the workers' patience is running out. The union building project's goals include mobilizing and organizing women’s empowerment at the workplace and gender equality, and we are also working towards reviving the IndustriALL women’s committee.”