The Secretary General of Rwanda Extractive Industry Workers Union (REWU), Eng. Andre Mutsindashyaka has commended various partners in the Mining and Quarrying sector for the changing attitude towards respecting the rights of mining workers.
The changing behaviors in favor of the rights of mining workers started to positively shift after REWU in collaboration with Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board (RMB), the Ministry of Public Services and Labor (MIFOTRA) and human rights organizations began to join forces in mobilizing employers to respect workers’ rights and labor laws in order to improve their living conditions while workers are also asked to commit to work in order to improve their livelihoods while at the same time increasing the productivity of the company they work for.
Speaking at a policymaker’s advocacy dialogue meeting on key recommendations and commitments aiming at improving compliance and transparency in the Extractive industry which was organized by Transparency International Rwanda (TI-Rwanda), REWU’s secretary General Eng. Mutsindashyaka said that “In the light of recommendations derived from TI-RW research on compliance and transparency in extractive industry last year, we are happy that there have been realized remarkable changes because it helped raising awareness and making advocacy.”
However, Eng. Mutsindashyaka added that there are still some gaps that need to be addressed.
Some of the problems in mining and Extractive Industry as defined by Eng. Mutsindashyaka are that the majority of miners do not have written contracts, others are not covered by RSSB, which means that there is confusion between collective insurance and social security of RSSB, which deprives workers of their rights.
He, however, noted that “There are things that have been achieved in collaboration with RMB, MIFOTRA, RMA among them the increase of the number of ECD centres, recognition of prior learning where 200 mine workers were assessed, among others”
In his remark, Patrick Kananga, the Chief Labor & Decent Work Administrator at the Ministry of Public Service and Labor, said “the Ministry makes regular inspections and advises mining companies to provide their workers with contracts, insurance & pay RSSB contributions. We need to partner to sort out persistent challenges.”
The policymaker’s advocacy dialogue meeting on key recommendations and commitments aiming at improving compliance and transparency in the Extractive industry was organized by Transparency International Rwanda to assess the progress made from Last year.