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Ankole Tea Estate Workers Protest Low Pay

Their secretary Paddy Twesigomwe said that field workers who pluck tea leaves earn 5700 shillings daily working for 22 days which makes only 125,400 shillings a month and they only want it increased to 10,000 shillings per day.


Workers of Ankole Tea Estate in Bushenyi district have laid down their tools demanding an increment in their salaries.

The workers under their umbrella; The National Union of Plantation and Agriculture Workers said they have been demanding a pay rise for the last three years in vain.

Their secretary Paddy Twesigomwe said those field workers who pluck tea leaves earn 5700 shillings daily working for 22 days which makes only 125,400 shillings a month and they only want it increased to 10,000 shillings per day. 

Then the general workers who get 175,000 want theirs increased to 200,000 shillings, and predicted that if the management can't increase the wages, they should expect the worst.

Hope Kyomugisha, one of the workers says that the money given to them is not enough to meet their needs given the current economic situation in the country.

Augustus Tumuhirwe, another worker who hails from Ibanda district says that they are paid little compared to the workload which starts at 6:30 a.m. and wind up at 3:30 p.m. He says that as a grade eight worker he works under harsh conditions for very little pay, adding that the dispensary lacks drugs and some of their colleagues work without protective gear noting that they are supposed to have two pairs of overalls and gumboots but they have only one or none.

 

Priscah Namara another worker says that they have worked for the same pay when a bar of soap was 2,500 Shillings, a kilogram of maize flour was 2,000 but now a bar of soap is 9,000 Shillings and maize flour is 4,000 and added to other requirements, the money they are paid is too little to even just suffice.  

Onan Ampumuza the General Manager of Ankole Tea Estate asked the striking workers to be patient and wait for a meeting on Friday to be held in Kampala to decide their fate.

    

Sitting on 573.12 hectares (2 square miles), harvesting 9.4 million kilograms of green leaf, manufacturing 5.7 million kilograms of ready Tea, Ankole Tea Estate employs over 850 workers permanently and deals directly with over 200 farmers and 100 contractors to complete its operations cycle.

 

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