MASERU — Employees of a company hired to construct the Metolong Dam are planning to go on strike tomorrow over salaries and working conditions.
The workers said Sinohydro Corporation, a Chinese-owned company, has refused to increase their wages, pay overtime and improve their working conditions.
According to Lesotho Workers Association (LEWA) organiser, Hlalefang Seoaholimo, the strike will be from June 15 to June 20.
“We are demanding a living wage, food and transport allowances and higher overtime payment,” Seoaholimo said.
“The employer said he was paying according to the government of Lesotho gazette and was not willing to negotiate,” he said.
“If there are no successful negotiations during the mentioned dates the strike will stop for three days and commence again for a week with the same time slots.”
Arcus GIBB, an engineering firm supervising the construction project, has already warned Sinohydro Corporation that a strike might delay the project.
On May 11 Michael Neumann, the resident engineer for Arcus GIBB, instructed Sinohydro Corporation to address the workers’ concerns.
He said Sinohydro Corporation must provide lunch for workers not accommodated at the site and improve working conditions.
Metolong Authority warned about the impending strike in a letter to Sinohydro Corporation.
“This may result in a serious development that may hamper the execution of the project and backfires on you and on Metolong Authority,” said Metolong’s chief executive Idris Mahmoud.