KICUKIRO - Discontent among employees at Regie d’ imprimerie Scolaire (Imprisco) – a former government printery in Kicukiro District– over the privatisation procedures of the plant, has prompted Labour Minister, Anastase Murekezi, to call an emergency meeting to sort out the issue.
The Director of Finance and Administration at Imprisco, Joseph Rwibasira, said that the Privatisation Secretariat did not inform them earlier that they were going to be given termination letters.
“This has come as a shock to all employees who I am speaking on behalf of,” he said.
“We came in the morning to work as usual and found new security guards who immediately stopped us from entering. We cannot accept such mistreatment,” Rwibasira complained. He further said that the Privatisation body did not tackle the issue of their terminal benefits.
“We are here appealing to the government to give us this package in a systematic way. We are public servants like others,” he said.
A controversy emerged when an Indian company known as Angelique Internationale won a tender to take over Imprisco with Frw1.4 billion.
According to these workers, government was right to sell its plant to investors but the issue that remained was that of solving their problems.
In an agreement signed between the government and Angelique Internationale in June 2008, which was seen by The New Times, the investor was supposed to pay fifty percent of the amount supposed to be paid for the plant three months before taking it.
However, Angelique Internationale failed to meet the terms, which saw the government extending the agreement to August 2008. The government still owns Imprisco.
Another employee wondered why their problem has so far not been solved yet the Prime Minister had written to the Labour Ministry and the Privatisation Secretariat to sort out the issue of their terminal benefits.
“We are wondering why they delayed to solve our problem yet the Prime Minister wrote to them instructing them to close the matter,” Emmy Mutesa, an accountant at Imprisco said.
Labour minister Anastase Murekezi, officials from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and Trade Union representatives met on Monday to solve the matter. The meeting was held at Imprisco offices where workers had camped for what they called ‘a peaceful demonstration’.
The Minister explained to them how the issue was going to be solved basing on the law. He said their packages will be provided to them and that according to the agreement; six employees will only remain in office and will be paid by the Angelique Internationale.
The workers who will remain include the Director, DAF, Accountant, Personal Secretary to the Director and two technicians. Imprisco has been employing 75 workers.