Mozambique’s main trade union federation, the OTM, h as distanced itself from the wildcat strike, waged by about 600 seasonal workers
at the Xinavane sugar plantation in Maputo province Friday and Saturday.
The workers were demanding a wage increase of over 100 per cent – from 1,100 to 2,500 meticais (US$ 46 to US$ 104), as well as protective clothing, over-time fo r working on Sundays, and the right to a day-off, in the event of the death of a f amily member.
During the strike, workers caused serious damage to the company offices, the hom es of company managers and set 20 hectares of sugar cane ablaze.
An OTM statement issued Monday pointed out that when the strike erupted, the Xin avane trade union committee was already negotiating with the company management.
But the strikers acted without giving any advance notice of their action.
The OTM, the statement stressed, “distances itself from wildcat strikes and acts of vandalism, which only endanger continued production and also the maintenance
“The exercise of trade union rights, including the right to strike,” it added, ” should be undertaken within the framework of the labour legislation in force in t he country, and always within the perspective of prioritizing dialogue and the s e arch for negotiated solutions.”
The OTM called on the Xinavane workers “to remain calm, and abstain from acts th at violate the labour law, so that the local trade union committee and the Sugar
Workers Union can continue negotiating with the employer.”