Why a worker must join a trade union in Mauritius?

Why a worker must join a trade union in Mauritius?

Today I will consider only one element in this article: pension contributions while in employment. While many workers in the private sector do not know about pensions, many workers despite knowledge of it ignore the fact that their employers have not subscribed them to any such plan. The laws of the Republic of Mauritius gives protection to the worker by making pension obligations compulsory for the employer.

One of the pillars of the International Labour Organisation’s Decent Work Agenda is ‘social protection’, i.e. pension. This showcase the importance of pension contributions for the worker. It is relevant to underline that Mauritius is member of the International Labour Organisation and this status membership obliges our country to ensure that the workers of the Republic of Mauritius do have a social protection.

There are around 600,000 workers in the country (2017 Statistics Mauritius figures) for a population of about 1.26 million. It can safely be said that the 150,000 or so employees of the public and para-statal organisations are covered by pension plans. However the majority of workers that is around 450,000, who are in the private sector are vulnerable. Responsible employers in the private sector have a pension plan for their work force. But many rogue employers find means and ways to escape this obligation to the dismay of the worker, defying overtly the government of Mauritius. Many a times the worker sleeps on this fundamental right leaving open the door to vulnerability.

The miseries of the worker comes when job is lost or when the business is brutally closed down, the worker has an accident and obviously when the worker retires, among others. At this point it’s too late and there is no retirement or pension benefits. The worker feels used and abused.

Trade unions are trained professionals with sound experience in pension matters including pension laws. The worker is therefore well advised to join a trade union to protect this fundamental right. Dishonest employers do things to keep the worker in the dark about rights. Through a trade union the worker can unlock his/her own potential and both defend and protect his/her right to pensions. A trade union is a legal entity and has the locus to negotiate collectively for the employees in the bargaining unit as pre the Employment Relations Act 2008. So this is one reason why a worker must join a trade union. First, a trade union helps a worker know his/her rights and second it helps the worker to protect and preserve his/her rights. As a worker, never underestimate the need to join a trade union.

Suraj Ray | 25.11.2017