TUICO Stops Attempt to Pay Cut

Mazava Tanzania Used the Covid-19 Pandemic as a Pretext for Pay Cut

Mazava Productions & Fabrics East Africa is a rubber jersey factory located in Morogoro Region, Tanzania. It operates under the Export Processing Zones (EPZ) business license. The products being manufactured by the factory are exported abroad but largely to the United States.

The investor through Human Resources officials told the workers that they were expecting to close the factory for three months effective from 24-05-2020 to 06-09-2020 following a moratorium request from their large customer the United States on the importation order over a period of three months as to halt the spread of the novel corona virus.

The statement additionally demanded that during the factory break, every employee should be paid a subsistence allowance equal to 50% of their salary and will be deducted from the State tax (Payee) and the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) contribution therein.

Workers from Mazava Productions & Fabrics East Africa who are the members and non-members gathered at TUICO’s  Offices in Morogoro – May 2020.

Tanzania Union of Industrial and Commercial Workers (TUICO) branch leaders within the factory doubted the employer's statement of intent that brought about disparity amongst workers hence they wanted the investor to involve the workers’ Union in the decision they were going to make.

However, the employer proudly said he could not do so because he had received instructions from the Morogoro Regional Office of Labor that due to Union’s lack of Employees' majority workplace, the TUICO lacks merit to be involved in the matter.

The employer then decided to appoint two employees as representatives of the Workers and the Union (TUICO), which subsequently entered into a written agreement on his preference without re-engaging the branch leaders who demanded the involvement of TUICO Regional and other staff members within the factory, which caused a lot of tension between the factory and workers.

On the 12th of May 2020 at 2:30pm (EAT) TUICO filed a dispute before the Commission for Mediation and Arbitration (CMA) Morogoro Region against the Employer under the Certificate of Urgency due to his inhumane actions of not involving the Union in the situation and to clearly demonstrate his intent to violate rights and interests of TUICO’s 819 members in the factory and all employees in general.

The dispute lasted for two consecutive weeks and finally TUICO came out winning the matter and the employer agreed that instead of 50%, all 70% would be paid to each employee’s salary. The employer should pay all three and a half months' wages for all employees within the factory in lieu of subsistence allowance as required by the employer based on the percentage balance and as of now workers in the factory have been paid accordingly.

TUICO’s Head of Legal Department Advocate Noel Nchimbi Speaking to workers from Mazava Productions & Fabrics East Africa at the Union’s office in Morogoro Region on the 22nd of May, 2020

Despite these challenges the Union has benefited from the conflict by restoring and maintaining the highest trust and confidence in the workers for they have recognized its presence and the reality of advocacy and the sincere management in defense of the rights and interests of our members and non-members in general.

As of 22nd of May, 2020 the Union was able to secure a total of 229 new members and including the original 819 members. The Union currently has 1,048 members in the factory and yet workers are joining the Union. It is our hope that at the opening of the factory in September, TUICO will begin negotiations and finally will come into an agreement with the factory on the Occupational Health And Safety.

New TUICO member holding his membership card after he joined the Union at its office in Morogoro Region on the 22nd of May, 2020.

Tanzania Union of Industrial and Commercial Workers (TUICO) will continue with its efforts to fight for the rights and interests of its members and workers at large. Solidarity Remains Our Weapon. 


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