Scrapping of 13th-month pay for 2020 | 20 November 2020
SFWU expresses solidarity with workers
The Seychelles Federation of Workers Union (SFWU) has expressed its solidarity with all Seychellois workers who will be affected by the scrapping of the 13th-month pay this year due to the country’s economic crisis as a result of the Covid- 19 pandemic.
The secretary general of the SFWU, Antoine Robinson, made the statement while giving his reactions yesterday on the 13th-month salary moratorium for this year which was announced by President Wavel Ramkalawan in his address before the National Assembly on Tuesday this week with regard to the country’s economic crisis as a result of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Mr Robinson, who was speaking in his office at OJ Market Mall, Market Street in Victoria, said that while such a decision will affect every Seychellois worker, it will impact more on the lower bracket paid workers who are still struggling with the negative impact of our highly devalued rupee as result of a continued increase of our foreign exchange rates resulting in a continuous rise of our cost of living.
He said that the SFWU has always supported the 13th-month salary since its introduction in 2016.
“We are all in agreement that the 13th-month salary has substantially improved the remuneration packages for all Seychellois workers especially the lower paid workers. The 13th-month salary has made it possible for all our workers to fully enjoy a more dignified livelihood for themselves and their families especially during end of a year and the beginning of another. Therefore my call to the government is to cancel the moratorium once the situation improves,” he added.
Mr Robinson continued by saying that the 13th-month pay was very significant in assisting the children of most of our working families, low income earners especially during the month of January while preparing for the children’s needs to return to school. He, therefore, recommended that through the Agency for Social Protection special provisions are made to assist those families who will be going through these hardships during this period.
He also made a plea to all employers and businesses in those sectors that have not been severely impacted by the financial crisis and whose economic activity has been able to survive the pandemic to show compassion and good faith especially during this festive season for our Seychellois workers and their families by at least considering a reduced 13th-month pay or a bonus, whatever the case may be.
Mr Robinson urged the government to continue protecting jobs and income by supporting the workers and businesses impacted by the crisis through the FA4JR and Sets schemes.
He noted that it is our businesses and workers that will kick-start our economic and social recovery once the coronavirus is contained.
He stated that government should continue to appeal to the IMF and our friendly countries to continue to assist and support us to design and implement sustainable job and salary retention, social protection and businesses’ financial assistance policies for our citizens’ livelihood.
“I agree with the President when he said that Seychellois workers should take work seriously and that there is no scope to be choosy. Seychellois being made redundant should replace the expatriates in all sectors of our economy and our employers and businesses should help to ease this process,” Mr Robinson said.
In conclusion Mr Robinson thanked God the Almighty for protecting us all and hopes the year 2021 brings along the long awaited coronavirus vaccine which we are all patiently waiting for.