TOP STORY: Truck drivers yearning for social benefits

Truck drivers across the country through their association (ACPLR) are seeking for government intervention to obtain social benefits. The truck drivers’ representative, Ishmael Rwemarika, claimed that they (drivers) face several uncertainties while in the line of duty but their bosses give a deaf ear.
The  Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Jeanne d’ Arc Mujawamariya (R) at the  opening of the workshop of Drivers’ Spouses Association with the  Chairman of the association, Mariam Murorunkwere (L) and Béata Mukangabo (c) yesterday at Laico Umubano
The Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Jeanne d’ Arc Mujawamariya (R) at the opening of the workshop of Drivers’ Spouses Association with the Chairman of the association, Mariam Murorunkwere (L) and Béata Mukangabo (c) yesterday at Laico Umubano

Truck drivers across the country through their association (ACPLR) are seeking for government intervention to obtain social benefits.

The truck drivers’ representative, Ishmael Rwemarika, claimed that they (drivers) face several uncertainties while in the line of duty but their bosses give a deaf ear.

“We don’t have employment contracts and insurance which makes us doubtful about the future,” he lamented.

Social benefits are a sum of all benefits to individuals in society. Some of them include pension and medical insurance or compensation in cases of occupational hazards.

Rwemarika continued to say that they earn salaries ranging from Rwf80,000 to Rwf120,000, which does not reflect their faithfulness and state of the labour market.

The call was made during a meeting for Association of Drivers’ Spouses (AEC/DUHUGURANE) held on Monday at Umbano Hotel to discuss family concerns for development.

The Chairman of AEC/DUHUGURANE, Mariam Murorunkwere, expressed dissatisfaction with the working conditions of their ‘husbands’.

“When our husbands experience tragedy while on duty, we (wives) are left with nothing to start up a living once again. There are always no savings, no medical insurance or even hope for any other form of benefits,” she bewailed.

To cater for some of these concerns, it was said that drivers prefer an increase of salaries to at least Rwf500,000. This was considered enough for savings and contributions towards social security.

The Social Security Fund of Rwanda (SSFR) takes three percent of the total salary while the employer contributes five percent.

The SSFR Director of Pension and Benefits, Oswald Munyandekwe, said that the pension body also moving towards increasing its coverage.

“We (SSFR) want most Rwandans to access social security services. We are seeking how possible this can be achieved with different institutions,” he explained.

SSFR is aiming to increase its coverage especially within the informal sector that constitutes the biggest percentage of the population.

Vedasta Gatera, a representative from Private Sector Federation (PSF) promised that the federation as an umbrella body for the business community will address the concern.

“We will coordinate the employee and employer as well as mobilising them for mutual benefits.”

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