Mozambique: Hotel Workers On Strike

Maputo — Maputo. 6 Jan (AIM) - Workers at the Chinese-owned Gloria Hotel in Maputo went on strike on Sunday, protesting that they have not yet received their December wages.

More than 200 workers, from the hotel kitchens, restaurant, reception, cleaning, laundry and maintenance sections walked off the job on Sunday, reports Monday's issue of the independent daily "O Pais".

Although Gloria is the largest hotel in the country, there are currently only 60 guests staying there.

"We've walked out because they haven't paid us", said one of the strikers, Benilson Miguel. "They didn't pay our December wages, and so we spent the Christmas and New Year holidays without anything".

One of the supervisors, Alice Tomo, told the paper "I tried to speak with the employer, because there have been changes in the management. Previously, we never had this problem. But now, when we demand explanations, they threaten us".

The workers also say the management does not respect working hours, does not provide medical care in the event of accidents at work, and does not provide clear job descriptions.

"It's not just the wage arrears", said another striker, Wilma Cossa. "It's the 13th month, which we have never received (referring to the New Year Bonus, equivalent to an extra month's wages). It's that when women workers become pregnant, they have no rights".

As for the lack of job descriptions, Cossa said she is supposed to work in the conference section, "but I do cleaning, I work in the restaurant, I'm a supervisor, and when we complain, they threaten to sack us".

The management recognises the problem. One of the hotel managers, Violeta Wanga, told "O Pais" that the December wages "haven't yet entered the accounts. We are solving the problem. The delay is with the bank. We shall pay, and we've already apologised to the workers".

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