Going on strike often entails unpleasant incidents where the different factions get into heated debates and fights, or, at least, they get into minor disagreements. As a matter of fact, an unpleasant incident occurred amongst the employees of the sugar industry who are currently on strike and the driver of a lorry carrying a sugar container.
The employees of the sugar industry have gone on strike as promised. According to the MSPA, they have obstructed the paths of lorries and other vehicles that were to be driven to the thermal power station and the sugar refineries. Such was the situation early today morning (20.11.14). The MSPA has yet again called for the Joint Negotiating Panel (JNP) to get into contact with the Employment Relations Tribunal to resolve the question of the quantum of salary compensation.
The workers have been on strike since yesterday, 19th of November. They insist on having a 30 % salary increase. They had initially asked for 38 % – 40 %. Their demands were repeatedly refused by the MSPA. One of the union activists, Ashok Subron, has spoken vehemently regarding this topic. According to him, the sugar manufacturers benefit from the reforms made in the sector, while they refuse to share the profits while the employees – he deems this to be totally unacceptable.
The labourers and other workers have thus gathered at the gates of the sugar factories of Alteo, Omnicane and Terra where they planned to spend the night.
According to the union activists, the employees are determined to persevere in their plan.
In circumstances like these where emotions of running high, the risk of having unpleasant incidents unfold cannot be disregarded. According to what has been reported by the workers on strike, something of this nature did happen. The driver of a lorry became furious when he noticed that the sugar container he was transporting to the factory was open. He allegedly accused the employees on strike of having manipulated the container. However, the latter have denied the responsibility thereof. Furthermore, after having entered through the gates of the factory, the driver could not exit because of the employees on strike. Policemen have had to be called on the spot to calm everyone down. Hours later, the driver was able to leave through the gate.
The sugar industry workers have also criticised the government, arguing that the required measures have not been taken.