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Over 4,000 Workers At Kilombero Sugar Factory On Strike

TOMRIC Agency, 9 June 2000

Dar Es Salaam - About 4,000 workers of the Kilombero Sugar Company (KSC) go on strike as a total of three acres of sugar canes, the property of the company was set on fire on Tuesday this week. The government owned publication, Daily News, reports here that following the strike, KSC's two factories at Kilombero in Morogoro region are being guided by police force for fear of riot and looting.

Dissatisfied workers allegedly burned three acres of sugar cane on Tuesday, according to the Morogoro Regional Police Commander (RPC), Christopher Shekiondo. The workers on strike since Monday are demanding reinstatement of 61 other workers who were retrenched recently, allegedly without following proper procedures, the paper said, quoting the Chairman of Tanzania Plantation Workers' Union (TPAWU) at the factory, Mr. Stephen Mguye.

On May 31 the KSC management laid off 61workers, all from workshop department without following existing labor laws on retrenchment. Mguye noted in his statement that the amount of expected compensation package was also not in accordance with the existing redundancy regulations.

In the effort to solve the problem, the trade union presented the case to the labor office. It is reported that KSC refused to give a statement and instead told the labor officer t take the issue to the Commissioner of labor, claiming they would not be ready to reverse the decision to lay off the 61 workers.

The Kilombero Sugar Company is now run by the South Africa investors, the ILLOVO group.