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IN re­sponse to “‘ MPS should pay back the money’” ( Le­sotho Times, Fe­bru­ary 25, 2016), first of all, Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment do not de­serve to ben­e­fit from this self­en­rich­ing scheme. The govern­ment should do away with this ar­chaic fa­cil­ity. We did not elect them to en­rich them­selves, but to work. The MPS should re­pay the loans plus in­ter­est.

Wa Kolo­jane.

IRONIC isn’t it that our political rep­re­sen­ta­tives have such con­trol over what we do in our lives and how our fi­nan­cial deal­ings are reg­u­lated but they ap­par­ently can­not con­trol their own ex­cesses. What re­ally bugs me is that our rep­re­sen­ta­tives will be busy look­ing for and ex­ploit­ing loop holes in the rules and reg­u­la­tions to fur­ther their own gains.

All it says to me is that we are vot­ing in peo­ple who have no morals when it comes to their job. It’s a “Now I’m a politi­cian, I can ride the gravy train just like the rest” men­tal­ity. Just be­cause ev­ery­one else does it, does not mean it is right or fair. If there has been loop holes they should have had the de­cency to have it closed. No won­der politi­cians have a bad name, they bring it on them­selves. They are our law mak­ers and if they don’t have a good sense of right and wrong then they shouldn’t be in the job.

Retha­bile.

IN re­sponse to “Tex­tile firm fires 900 work­ers” ( Le­sotho Times, Fe­bru­ary 25, 2016), a least de­vel­oped coun­try like Le­sotho in which about three quar­ters of the peo­ple live in ru­ral ar­eas and en­gage in sub­sis­tence agri­cul­ture can­not af­ford such a jobs car­nage. It is re­ally a bit­ter pill to swal­low when ap­prox­i­mately 900 fac­tory work­ers are fired at the cru­cial time when hunger and dis­ease loom due to the ef­fects of El Nino cli­matic weather con­di­tion.

Le­sotho’s largest pri­vate em­ployer is the tex­tile and gar­ment in­dus­try where ap­prox­i­mately 36 000 Ba­sotho, mainly women, work in fac­to­ries pro­duc­ing gar­ments for ex­port to South Africa and the United States. The dis­tri­bu­tion of in­come in Le­sotho re­mains in­equitable be­cause Le­sotho re­lies on the tex­tile in­dus­try and South Africa for much of its eco­nomic growth. Ba­sotho house­holds de­pend heav­ily on re­mit­tances from mem­bers work­ing in tex­tile fac­to­ries.

En­vis­ag­ing how ex­cru­ci­at­ing it is for the in­con­solable fired em­ploy­ees from Ace Ap­parel, is un­bear­able. One can­not work for a decade and then be fired with­out any hear­ing. Af­ter go­ing through fear, pain, walk­ing through fac­tory gates in the rain for a pit­tance of M275, this can­not be con­doned and there is no em­ployee who should go through this or­deal. I humbly urge all stake­hold­ers to en­gage in talks and en­sure that all the fired em­ploy­ees are reem­ployed at Ace Ap­parel.

All the trade unions should have a col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing and ne­go­ti­a­tion process be­tween them and the em­ployer about griev­ances pro­ce­dure, ter­mi­nal ben­e­fits and em­ploy­ees’ rights.

The em­ployer can­not just fire em­ploy­ees but must fol­low the dis­ci­pline and ter­mi­na­tion steps out­lined in the col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agree­ment. Some of the steps can in­clude no­ti­fy­ing the em­ployee in ad­vance to al­low him/her to speak with union rep­re­sen­ta­tives prior to the meet­ing and ap­peal process.

Em­ploy­ees have the right to strike against or boy­cott their em­ployer. Many strikes yield im­mense ben­e­fits to em­ploy­ees. There is noth­ing wrong when fel­low em­ploy­ees down tools in uni­son with the col­league who feels she is not treated fairly. This should serve as a clar­ion call to all stake­hold­ers that em­ploy­ees can­not be fired willy-nilly.

Kono kono.

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