As negotiations for a salary rise remain inconclusive, Mauritian sugar workers have threatened to go on an “indefinite strike” as from Wednesday, PANA has learnt from trade-union sources here.
Trade unionist Ashok Subron said the strike will continue until 17 November when artisans of the industry join the movement.
“We have already completed the preparations and the instruction to the sugar workers is that they should gather in front of their site of work during the whole period of strike. This should last more than a week”, he said.
For his part, Labour and Industrial Relations Minister Shakeel Mohamed said the 8.5% rise in salary proposed by the employers “is simply unreasonable and disrespectful to the workers who contribute a lot to this sector. Employers are putting our economy at risk, not the workers”.
The workers have asked for a 40% rise in their salary while the employers have offered only 8.5%, insisting that the financial situation of the industry is bad because of a decline in sugar prices abroad.
Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam has appealed to the workers not to go on strike and to accept the nomination of an independent referee to sort out this problem between the two parties “because of the campaign for the next general elections scheduled for December 10 that has started a week ago in the island.”