Published: 15 Mar 2018
Workers at Rio Tinto’s QIT Madagascar Minerals (QMM) operations downed tools twice in five days over management’s violation of their collective bargaining agreement relative to salary increases. About 320 permanent workers out of 480 went out strike on 8 March.
The CBA calls for a consideration of both annual inflation-linked salary increase and a performance based increase, with the aim to make up for the loss of purchasing power. The union has argued that the company’s approach militates against workers in the lower rankings of the salary scale, and that those workers never achieve the intended purchasing power parity intended in the collective bargaining agreement. Instead, supervisors and managers benefit from management’s approach, and this violates the collective bargaining agreement. According to the union, workers at QMM receive very low wages, averaging about US$45/month.
Members of IndustriALL affiliate, Sendika Kristanina Malagasy (Sekrima) and Syndicalisme et Vie des Sociétés (SVS), suspended the strike in the afternoon of Thursday 8 March after local management promised a labour inspectorate led mediation the following day.