20 November 2012

Mozambique: Labour Minister Cancels Work Permits

Maputo — Mozambique’s Minister of Labour, Helena Taipo, has cancelled the work permits of two Indian citizens, Manoj Kumar Pandey and Ram Many Pandey, with immediate effect, according to a Tuesday press release from the Labour Ministry.

The two men were the director of human resources and the coordinator of operations of the company MGC, which has been subcontracted by the Indian company Jindal Steel and Power for work on its coal mining concession in Changara district, in the western province of Tete.

The two Indians are accused of repeated violations of the Labour Law and of the Mozambican constitution.

According to the Ministry’s release they mistreated and insulted the 250 Mozambicans working at the company. They also made “false promises” to the Mozambican workers, and failed to provide them with work contracts and with protective equipment.

No record was kept of overtime worked, and neither the company nor its workers were registered with the National Social Security Institute (INSS).

Furthermore, the company did not provide any clean drinking water for its workers.

The behaviour of the MGC management led to a strike last week. This seems to have alerted the Ministry to the seriousness of the problems, which it attributed to “the lack of dialogue and the arrogant character of the managers”.

The two Indians even denied access to the company premises to the brigades sent by the provincial government and the police who were attempting to reach a solution to the workers’ grievances.

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