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Ugandan workers storm finance ministry, threaten to occupy

By Godfrey Olukya
Posted on Monday, 4 June 2012 16:32

A group of workers in Uganda Monday stormed the Ministry of Finance, demanding an improvement in workers conditions, as an ultimatum they had given the government expired.

Workers unions had given the government until the end of May to improve their conditions, but this passed without any response.

“We have been calling on government to work on our demands for sometime but we haven’t been getting responses,” Sam Lyomoki,the workers representative in parliament, said. “Since the only language that they understand is a strike, we have also decided to strike.”

The workers camped in the ministry’s boardroom, where they sang until they attracted Finance Minister, Fred Omach, who then had a closed meeting with the workers leaders to iron out their problems.

The workers also vowed to sleep at the ministry offices until they were assured their concerns were being worked on.

The workers are demanding involvement in the liberalisation of the pension sector and management of the National Social Security Fund.

They want the government to set a minimum wage to avoid the exploitation of workers by employers and investors and also want the establishment of industrial courts to settle workers.

National chairman of Union Drivers and Cyclists Moses Balerka said, “We will storm other ministries and government departments to make them respond to the workers demands”.

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