Trade Union Common Platform

Common Declaration

The Trade Union Common Platform concludes that the White Paper for a new legal framework for Industrial Relation in the Republic of Mauritius presented by the government, has in fact incorporated most of the employers’ philosophy, analysis, concerns and proposals while rejecting almost all of the trade union movement proposals.

The objective of the bosses is to, make the working people and coming generations shoulder the burden of the ‘globalisation crisis’ and the bankruptcy of their neo-liberal economic development strategy. This is what the White Paper fundamentally aims at: to impose pseudo collective bargaining, without real right to strike in order to lessen existing minimal wages and work conditions. Coupled with the proliferation of precarious labour, the codification of what is being proposed in the White Paper into a new legislation will inevitably lead to a decline in the bargaining power of the working class and lead to a general decrease in wages and work condition in the coming years. The trade union movement stands up and objects to what can be considered as one of the most dangerous attack ever made against the interest of working people of this country. We reject the very philosophy of the White Paper.

While introducing the concept of “concession bargaining” which makes it possible for lessening existing sectoral wages and working condition, the White Paper make it quasi impossible for workers to use the right to strike to defend their existing living standards, let alone the possibility to acquire new rights.

We consider the presentation of such proposals as a lack of respect and an insult towards all those people who have bravely struggled, have been victimised or who have even fallen in the struggle against IRA. Working people deserve more respect and consideration than that after 33 years of struggle against the IRA.

The Trade Union Common Platform opines that the White Paper in its present form cannot be codified and form the basis of a new industrial relations legislation. It departs from and betrays most of the demands and struggle of workers and democratic movement of the country for the last 30 years.

We believe that the White Paper should be completely revisited and be subject to national debate before any new legislation is brought in replacement of the IRA in the National Assembly.

We would like once again to stress that our rejection of the underlying philosophy and core proposals of the White Paper cannot be construed as an acceptance of the existing IRA. Our struggle is for a democratic industrial relations legislation to replace the IRA. The present White Paper does not meet the expectations of the trade union movement and the working class, as it does not propose a new democratic industrial environment.

Should the government persists in enacting the White Paper in its present form without taking the trade union movement fundamental objections and proposals, the trade union movement will mobilise workers and citizens of the country to wage appropriate militant struggle.

Federation of Progressive Unions (FPU), Mauritius Labour Congress (MLC), State Employees Federation (SEF), Federation of Civil Service and Other Unions (FCSOU), Federation des Syndicats des Corp Constitues (FSCC), Mauritius Trade Union Congress (MTUC), General Workers Federation (GWF), Mauritius Labour Federation (MLF), Free Democratic Unions Federation (FDUF), Confederation Mauriciennes des Travailleurs (CMT), Federation of Free Workers (FFW), Federation des Travailleurs Unis (FTU), National Trade Union Confederation (NTUC)