UNTC-CS General Secretary Denounces Precarious Working Conditions at May Day Commemoration in Cape Verde

By Adjélé Mensah
Keywords : Newsletters Cape Verde Occupational Health and Safety

Praia, May 1st - The General Secretary of the National Union of Cape Verdean Workers - Central Trade Union (UNTC-CS) has once again strongly criticized the precarious and unstable employment conditions in the country, calling into question the relevance of celebrating May Day.

On International Workers’ Day, celebrated on May 1, comrade Joaquina Almeida expressed her opinion to the press, stressing that the day is an opportunity to reflect on the victories and gains achieved with perseverance and tenacity, while addressing the future challenges facing the world and the country.

Since its creation in 1978, the UNTC-CS, the country’s main trade union center, has made a major contribution to advances in the world of labor, notably in terms of strike legislation, the creation of the labor code, the setting of the national minimum wage and the introduction of unemployment benefits, among others.
Yet, despite these progress, the Secretary General deplored the continuing job insecurity, instability and uncertainty in Cape Verde. Workers are demanding improved living conditions, even though the country has been recognized by the International Labour Organization (ILO) for its efforts to promote decent work.
Ms Joaquina Almeida also criticized the government for its treatment of civil servants, accusing the Ministry of State Modernization and Public Administration of persecuting and discriminating against employees with precarious contracts and insufficient wages.

She highlighted recent struggles by various sectors, such as teachers, cabin crew, bailiffs, national police, justice, customs, doctors, private security, nurses and health technicians, to assert their rights against the government.

As for the project of amendment to the labor code, currently under discussion for its third revision, she warned against any attempt to reduce workers’ rights in the name of competitiveness and benefits for employers.

She concluded by saying that there was no reason to celebrate May 1st in a festive mood, pointing out that the government had ignored workers’ demands. She nonetheless encouraged workers with a message of peace, tranquillity and hope for a better, more inclusive world of solidarity.

By Adjélé Mensah

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