Workers’ MP joins call for independent labour ministry

Wakiso – Workers representative in parliament Arinaitwe Rwakajara has joined calls for an independent ministry to effectively handle labour issues in the country.

“What the workers are saying is very right and it will solve so many problems. We will not rest before we get our independent ministry that can address our issues rather than finding one minister dealing with seven ministries and ending up ignoring labour which is the engine of any economy in this world,” said Rwakajara.

The MP was responding to a concern raised by Usher Wilson Owere, the national chairman Amalgamated Transport and General Workers’ Union (ATGWU) during a training for workers’ councilors from various cities in Uganda held in Wakiso district on Wednesday.

Owere noted the need to merge the Ministry of Public Service with Labour and Social Security to to be able to focus on issues affecting workers in the country. Owere says the current Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development doesn’t give much attention to labour issues as it comprises several departments which aren’t labour related.

About the training

The two-day training organized by ATGWU together with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Uganda (FES Uganda) is aimed at empowering workers’ councillors to execute their duties effectively.

The councilors were picked from various cities of Uganda including Kampala, Jinja, Mbale, Lira, Soroti, Gulu Arua. Masaka, Mbarara, Fort portal and Hoima.

While opening the training on Wednesday, MP Rwakajara urged the councilors to be assertive while pushing for their interests as well as those affecting workers they represent in the councils.

Responding to a call to revive the minimum wage bill, Rwakajara asked the councillors to join the force behind ensuring that the bill is assented to by the president.

In 2019, the 10th Parliament passed the Minimum Wage Bill 2015, which sought to set up a minimum wage determination mechanism and curb employee exploitation.

The bill that was moved by MP Rwakajara had set a minimum wage determination mechanism across different sectors of the economy.

However, President Museveni declined to sign the Bill, saying issues it intends to cure are already addressed in the Minimum Wages Advisory Boards and Wages Council Act.

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