If you remember my posts “Union Leaders demonstrate as NPC holds its first meeting” and “Trade Union Outcry”, I mentioned about the controversy around the setting up and functioning of the National Pay Council (NPC).
The NPC held its ultimate meeting yesterday and gave its final recommendations to the government with regard to the quantum of salary compensation that should be paid this year to workers for loss of purchasing power. It has proposed an 8.7% compensation or an amount varying from Rs 260 for those with a basic salary of Rs 3000 monthly to Rs 400 for those earning Rs 8000 and more. The NPC President says it’s a fair deal resulting from a consensus from all parties concerned at a 2-hour meeting held at Victoria House yesterday afternoon. It’s worth noting that a compensation of 10.5% based on the rate of inflation was due according to the trade unions while the employers’ representatives had proposed 5.5%.
Several hundreds of people joined the major trade unions along with the opposition political parties at a mass rallye this afternoon. They brought along kitchen utensils to demonstrate they are at a loss running their households due to excessive price rises on basic commodities and to express their concern on the inadequate compensation proposed.
The Minister of Industrial Relations and Employment and other members of the government boasted it was an unprecedented amount ever granted. Last year’s was a meagre amount of Rs 135 granted across the board.
The recommendations will be considered at the Cabinet meeting of tomorrow. We’ll then know the official stand of the government on the issue. It’s most unlikely that the proposals will be amended.
Mauritian residing in Rodrigues, Amanoola Khayrattee (pen name Alfa King) is contributing writer and journalist to La Gazette Mag de l’océan indien and This Week News Mauritius.
Retired, former meteorological cadre, trade unionist and OSH consultant, Amanoola has written for in-house union and other journals, publications and magazines. He runs two blogs since 2007: “Alfa King Memories”, and “Le Journal d’Alfa King”. When he is not reading or writing, he is on a 10+ km daily hike in anticipation of his monthly trails.
Amanoola may be reached at [email protected].