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Textile workers remain with no jobs, no pay in Madagascar

22 December, 2017263 workers of the CLASSIC KNITWEAR in Antananarivo, Madagascar are fighting against arbitrary technical unemployment, which is a type of forced three-month unpaid leave imposed on workers by the company, during which a worker cannot change employer.

Just 15 days before the beginning of the Christmas and New Year break workers of the Malagasy company CLASSIC KNITWEAR represented by the IndustriALL Global Union affiliate Syndicalisme et Vie des Sociétés (SVS), received notice of technical unemployment. The company refers to the reduced number of orders as the reason for their decision.

On 11 December 2017, workers were announced they are on a leave for 30 days followed by technical unemployment from 8 January to 5 March 2018.

According to the union the national labour inspectorate approved the company’s decision without a proper investigation of the causes of the situation. Thus, workers who have no longer left a day of holiday will remain in an unconfirmed status for at least 30 days and later will face a sort of “zero contract” situation for another two months at least, deprived of gain sources and not even able to search for a new job.

As per the situation on 09 December 2017 the employer still refuses to pay neither for the time of leave or unemployment whatsoever. The workers tried in vain to solve the issue through the labour reconciliation two times including the most recent session on 21 December.

The same day workers went on indefinite strike. The SVS union demands that the government representatives, namely labour inspectorate and minister of labour, interfere and settle the problem.

Workers’ demands are as follows:

  • to remain on a technical leave with payment of the remained part of their salary, including leave allocation and a non-refundable safety monthly payment equal to MGA200.000 (US$62) and the guarantee to return to work on 5 March 2018; or
  • to end the contract with all due payments including payment of the due salary, compensation for not taken leave, a notice as well as an indemnity of dismissal of 10 days per year of seniority.