15 November 2012

Uganda: Investors Reaping From Casual Jobs

Labour unions have observed that precarious work is taking over permanent employment especially in the private sector.

Uganda Investment Authority has focused on generating new investments and creating employment through foreign, joint venture and local projects. 351,194 jobs were created from a total of 2, 226 licensed projects which means on average only 39,022 jobs were created per year .

Madada Kyebakoze Sulaiman, minister of state for elderly and disability affairs, ministry if Gender, Labour and Social Development urged workers to rise up against casualisation of labour.

"Workers demand for your rights. Government cannot enforce everything. If you do not the employers will reap profits from you,"

He was speaking at the stake holder's dialogue by labour unions to mark the belated International Day for Decent work.

He added that only 13.4% of the labour force (14 to 60 years) in Uganda is employed. Of which 20.7 million who earn wages, 14% are on permanent jobs while 86% are casual workers. Only 10 % are employed in the private sector who earn about Shs. 300,000, yet the rest earn below Shs.50, 000

Uganda textiles, Garment, Leather and Allied Workers Union (UTGLAWU), National Union of Clerical, Commercial, Professional and Technical Employees(NUCCPTE) and Uganda Hotels, Food, Tourism and Allied Workers' Union (UHFTAWU) among others recognized global capital is changing the way people are employed. Secure jobs arer becoming scarce because agency, contract and temporary work are taking over.

Catherine Aneno, general secretary UTGLAWU said, "Workers in precarious jobs are deprived of their constitutional and legal rights , offers low quality services since those involved are not trained, not motivated."

She added that as a guise of economic crisis, employers have turned it into crime against workers that they have to cut costs in order to survive.

"As unions we are pushing against this tide to fight laws that expand precarious work and mobilize support for secure employment through creating awareness."

He says the government is trying to standardize the labour sector manual, install a minimum wage council, establish an industrial court, and develop an action plan on the different laws for labour.

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