Uganda given ultimatum to fix a minimum wage

Kampala- A committee of experts under the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has given Uganda up to July 2015 to fix a minimum wage for workers.The ultimatum was given at the 103rd Session of the ILO conference held between May 12 and June 12 in Geneva, Switzerland.

The National Organisation of Trade Unions petitioned the committee, accusing government of reluctance to adhere to the principles of labour laws, including delays to enact the minimum wage law.

Addressing journalists at Parliament yesterday, Workers MP Arinaitwe Rwakajara, who attended the conference, said efforts to have government comply to the labour laws have been futile. “Ugandans are being exploited without a minimum wage. Our neighbours Kenya and Nigeria supported our push because they see its needed. That is why I am still pushing for a new law,” he said.

During the International Labour Day celebrations last month, President Museveni said he was ready to discuss the issue of minimum wage with the workers’ leadership. He noted that he needed more time to study the matter, warning that it could chase away investors.

However, Mr Rwakajara said minimum wage will instead boost productivity of workers. “The perception of the leadership is that when you fix minimum wage, it will send away businessmen. Kenya has a law on minimum wage but has more investors coming into the country,” he said.

State minister of Labour Mwesigwa Rukutana assured the delegates that the government will fix the minimum wage but first undertake a comprehensive study on the wage trends in the different sectors of the economy.

oeyotaru@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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