Sacking Rwandan employees living with HIV/AIDS by some private companies is among the cases observed by the Labour Congress and Workers Fraternity in Rwanda (COTRAF) last year 2017.
This was observed among other many illegal practices of some local private companies in Rwanda that violate workers’ rights.
This practice was mentioned among others by COTRAF’s Secretary General François Ntakiyimana on February 23, 2018 during COTRAF-Building and Industry Union Assembly held in Kigali.
The union received 604 cases including being sacked without final employment pay, lack of employment contract, lack of insurance, physical (body) harassment and having HIV/AIDS.
“We received 604 cases of workers among them 57 are still pending. Most of those we received are immediate dismissal accounting to 127, others include lack of contract, lack of leave, being beaten by employers which resulted into huge body damage, and 0.49 % are workers who were sacked because they live with HIV/AIDS.
Ntakiyimana said that most of these workers are sacked by security companies after revealing that they live with HIV/AIDS.
In their efforts to advocate and seeking law assistance for the vulnerable sacked workers without pay, COTRAF won over Rwf 134 million in court.
COTRAF also said that some workers fail to get court bail while seeking justice.
Some workers also miss their employers paying them after COTRAF wins their pay in court, as most of their employers are foreigners.
Thomas&Piron Construction Company was mentioned among the cases that COTRAF won and failed to pay Rwf 22 million fine to 53 workers, and unfortunately this company is no longer operating in Rwanda.
Elie Nshimiyimana has been working for a Kenyan ‘All Wonders company’ for two years and after winning over 2 million of his pay in court with COTRAF help, he is still waiting for his money, although the criminal had also disappeared. This company had to pay back Rwf 10 million for sacked workers. The same issue was found on Cha Dong Chinese Company that had also to pay Rwf 10 million.
Eric Nzabandora, COTRAF president recommended government entities, private sector and other employers to respect workers’ rights by handling conflicts in peace before seeking court intervention.
“I hope that when all these entities seat together with employees to handle internal conflicts everything will be wonderful and workers’ rights will be respected,” said Nzabandora.