Road Construction Workers Block Mbarara -Masaka Highway

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In short
Lyantonde Road construction workers in renewed violence. They cut off raods entering Lyantonde paralyzing traffic flow.They demand immediate sacking of two top bosses for assault, harrassment.

Road construction workers along Masaka-Mbarara Highway have staged a strike paralyzing transport along the highway.
 
 
The workers rampaged this morning and blocked Masaka-Mbarara Highway to protest poor working conditions, unauthorized deduction of their wages and unfair dismissal from work.
 
 
 
Armed with placards, tree branches, and hooting their trucks, over 450 Road construction workers parked their trucks in the middle of the Highway in Lyantonde town and then stormed the offices of their bosses threatening to beat them.
 
 
Trouble started when Reynolds Construction Company, which is undertaking the reconstruction of Mbarara –Kampala Highway sacked 17 for their alleged involvement in a series of riots last month that stalled their work.
 
 
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Aaron Mugisha, a passenger traveling to Mbarara who witnessed the violence says the striking workers stopped all vehicles from passing for about 30minutes until officials from the Workers Union intervened and negotiated with them to remove their trucks to allow traffic flow.


According to Mugisha, the protestors refused to remove their trucks from the middle of the Highway until their demands are met. Justin Kibanda, an official from the Workers Union says that the workers are demanding the sacking of Easter Namatovu, the Route Section Supervisor and RCC Lyantonde Section Manager only identified as Moosh.
 
 
Kibanda says the workers are not happy about the decision by Reynolds Construction Company bosses to deduct their wages as a punishment for rioting last month.
 
She also says that the workers are demanding the immediate reinstatement their colleagues, increment of their wages by 10%.
 
 

According to Kibanda, he plans to meet with their bosses later today to discuss with them on how to end the impasse. Edward Miiro, a Lyantonde based journalist says most of the protesting workers are casual laborer paid between 70000 to 100,000shillings.
 
 
He says with the increasing cost of commodity prices, the workers are unable to meet family demands of paying for school fees and providing essential commodities in their homes.

The Management of Reynolds Construction Company has not yet commented on the stand off. Currently, security has been stepped up at offices of Reynolds Construction Company outside Lyantonde to prevent chaos.
 
 

Last month, the same workers also went on a similar strike and threatened to burn the offices of their bosses, protesting against the 30% deduction of Pay As you Earn without their consultations.

 

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