Support the Mauritian trade unions!
The Building and Wood Workers International (BWI), a global union representing 12 million workers from 350 trade unions in 127 countries, expresses it full solidarity and support to the Construction Metal Wooden and Related Industries Employees Union (CMWEU) and the Confederation des Travailleurs des Secteurs Publique et Privé (CTSP) which were sued by the Hyvec Construction Ltd. in retaliation for fulfilling their roles in protecting the rights and welfare of workers.
It came to BWI’s attention that CTSP, wherein its affiliate CMWEU is associated with, was sued for libel by the company for MUR 25 million (USD 622, 896). CTSP President Reeaz Chutto was also sued for the same amount. This was after the unions extended assistance to a number of workers who figured in a road accident that killed 4 Bangladeshi construction workers and injured several others. The said workers were said to be on their way to work aboard a Hyvec-sanctioned bus.
The unions said that the bus had no permit to transport workers and was overloaded. These facts, which were sourced from the authorities themselves, were submitted to the media to provide adequate information on the accident. The unions stand by the truthfulness of the said information.
CMWEU and CTSP believe that the charges filed against them by the company aim to legally harass them and distract the public from exacting accountability from the company over the tragic accident.
Given these facts, BWI calls on Mauritius’ Ministry of Labour and Human Resource to provide all the necessary support to the trade unions as they face the charges lodged against them by Hyvec Construction Ltd. We add our voice to the trade unions’ assertion that issues like this should be deliberated through industrial relations dispute mechanisms.
BWI also calls on the labour ministry to amend the country’s Employment Relations Act by providing a provision that protects trade union leadership from erring employers, especially when authorities have concrete evidence of employer abuse.
Lastly, BWI calls on the Mauritian government to protect the rights and welfare of the country’s workers. As a country that ratified all of the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Core Conventions, Mauritius has a duty and obligation to put into practice its commitment to international labour standards.
You can make a difference: ACT NOW! Sign the protest message to the Mauritian labour ministry to support the CMWEU and CTSP.
Hon. Soodesh Satkam Callichurn
Minister of Labour and Human Resource
Development and Training
I am appalled to hear from the Building and Wood Workers' International, BWI, that 4 Bangladeshi construction workers were killed and dozens of others were seriously injured in a road accident in Pailles near the Central City of Port Louis, while going to work on the work site of Hyvec Construction Ltd in the morning, around 9.30 a.m . The company has flouted the law by transporting its workers in a bus without appropriate permit.
I am also appalled to hear that these migrants were subjected to violation of labour rights, including being forced to work long hours.
I fully support BWI affiliate in Mauritius the Construction Metal Wooden and Related Industries Employees Union (CMWEU)
and the Confederation C.T.S.P who have denounced the case to the press and urged the Ministry of labour to take responsibility to protect the Bangladeshi workers and give support to the union and its President in the claim for damages before the Supreme Court lodged by Hyvec Construction Ltd.
I urge you as Minister of Labour to bring appropriate amendment to the Employment Relations Act with an emergency certificate to protect trade union leadership especially when you have evidence that the employer was in violation with existing Legislation and procedures.