Monday, May 25, 2015

Labour ministry: We are in regular touch with drivers’ contracts

Two weeks after the government formed an inquiry team to investigate the long standing contractual problems involving drivers and their employers, the Ministry of Labour, Youths and Employment has revealed that, they have started to receive copies of the contractual employment entered between transporters and drivers. Speaking exclusively a labour officer working at a Dar es Salaam regional office who preferred anonymity for not being a spokesperson for the ministry matters said that, his office has retained over 100 copies for references. He said that, the exercise had been regularly taking place at his office ever since drivers started complaining about their contractual rights against their employers, and added that it had been even before they went on strike. However, he has dismissed misconceptions that seem to be contrary to allegations being raised by drivers who recently went on two day strike claiming that have no employment contracts. According to him, the regional office coordinates with the Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA) who issues transport licenses to ensure that such documents are correct as in accordance with the requirements endorsed by following government’s regulations set for its scheme of service. Contacted for comments, the Ministry’s spokesperson Ridhiwani Wema who admitted of the on-going process elaborated the matter into details saying that, his ministry has set aside two days that is on every Tuesday and Thursday of the week of receiving such copies. He noted that, on the receipt of such documents they are then ascertained to prove their authenticity with the original copy which normally is signed in presence of both drivers and their transporters. He further noted that, the verification of such documents are first proved by the officials from SUMATRA before are cleared and kept in cabinet files within their office. This blog visited the office on Thursday last week and was shown samples of such copies that have been kept on a cabinet file, an indication that proves the government is seriously working to solve drivers’ woes in the country. A close observation discovered that most of such contracts have been recently signed and endorsed with all the required information such like terms of service, allowances given to drivers and other benefits such as medical and NSSF schemes. Meanwhile, a private lawyer specializing in labour laws has said that, it is not the duty of the government to ensure that all casual laborers are employed once have toiled three months of work without actually given a contract letter detailing workers  employment status. Sylvester Reuben said in an exclusive interview that, the labour laws imposed by the government are there to ensure that every employer strictly abide by them, and in case of any fault that it is the workers who have the duty to sue their employers before the court of law for such violations. He said that, the government cannot scrutinize all companies in thorough searching to see notorious employers who flouts such laws at the expense of company’s workers as the work is very tedious and time taken.

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