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Munobwa Tea Factory Workers Call Off Strike

On Monday, the over 1,000 workers laid down their tools over salary increment and poor work conditions.
Workers of Munobwa Tea Factory under Rwenzori Commodities Limited in Kyenjojo district have called off their strike after setting conditions.

On Monday, the over 1,000 workers laid down their tools over salary increment and poor work conditions. These included those who pluck the tea and the others who work inside the tea factory.

They argued that their salaries were supposed to be increased annually but since 2018, they had not received any salary increment. 

Some of them talked to our reporter on condition of anonymity for fear of being reprimanded that they overwork but earn very little money.

"Us who pluck the tea earn less than 100 Shillings for each kilogram of tea leaves plucked. This is too little. We want some increment, even if small," the source said. 

One of the workers added that even when they fall sick, it is hard to be given sick leave and their bosses always want them to stay at work regardless of their health conditions. 

It took the intervention of the police to calm the angry but peaceful workers who had gathered at factory offices, demanding their bosses to respond to their grievances.

After blocking the media, the management of the factory has since yesterday evening held several meetings with the workers who demanded that the salaries be increased effective next month.

These, however, did not tell the exact percentage or amount they want to be added to their current salaries that range between 100,000 and 150,000 Shillings monthly. 

Workers also demanded that their sick and other leaves are granted by the company unconditionally and the company ensures they get some insurance cover to help them when they are sick. 

Joseph Thomas, the Manager of Munobwa Tea Factory, told our reporter that they are committed to increasing the salary.

He, however, declined to comment about the issue of refusal to grant leave to sick staff.