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13 Jul 2022

Peter Kugonza, The Cooperator

Uganda: Over 250 Bugambe Tea Estate workers protest over low wages amid increased cost of living

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"Work paralysed as Bugambe Tea Estate workers protest over poor pay", 13 July 2022

Work at Bugambe Tea Estate Factory...was paralysed after the employees of the factory went on strike demanding a monthly pay rise.

The workers held the strike after the tea factory managed by MCLEOD Russel Uganda failed to fulfill the promise of increasing their salaries.

On Monday, hit by the high prices of essential commodities and services like health and education, the over 250 casual workers who work inside the factory and others who pluck the tea leaves, laid down their tools demanding that their salaries be increased as promised by management last year...

The workers blamed their bosses and the National Union for Plantation and Agriculture workers for neglecting their demands.

The workers’ strike forced the security committee to engage the factory management and later engaged the workers before they had a general meeting to discuss the matter.

During the meeting, workers argued that their salaries and wages are supposed to be increased every January but nothing has happened, stating that the cost of living has gone higher that they cannot afford to fend for their families.

Robert Barikenda, the human resource manager said that recently the tea company announced an interim increment of Shs 17,000 for grade six workers, Shs 15,000 for grade seven workers per month as negotiations between the company and the unions continue.

However, the workers rejected the increment, saying that such an increment was too little to make them survive...

After a meeting that lasted for two hours, the workers called off the strike and agreed to resume work on condition that company management will review...