Society

Burundi: Lumitel staff ask government to intervene in their struggle for better working conditions

The staff of Vietel Burundi Cell Company known as “Lumitel” staged a strike protesting against bad working conditions this Thursday, September 6. They call on Burundi government intervene.

Lumitel representatives brought technicians to forcibly open the closed doors at the sales offices in Bujumbura city

Lumitel representatives brought technicians to forcibly open the closed doors at the sales offices in Bujumbura city

At around 9:30 a.m., doors were still closed at sales offices in Bujumbura city center. “We left the offices well closed to make sure work materials are safe”, says one of the employees met around Lumitel office. The representatives of the company were trying to forcibly open the closed doors.
One of the representatives of these employees who spoke on condition of anonymity, has said this strike is the consequence of a “contemptuous director” who never listens to them. “The director has never wanted to listen to our complaints. He always seeks to show that the situation is good in the company,” he has said.

This employee says even the employees who have been dispatched to provide the minimum service are unknown. “The director will have to take responsibility for the losses because it is he who ordered that closed doors be opened”, he says adding that they have left their working materials in offices. “Those who work in the sales department kept phones, SIM cards and money in their respective offices. The director would have called them to make an inventory before,” he has said.

This representative says they are fighting for a noble cause. “We are fighting for our rights and we have followed the steps set by the law.”

One month ago, Lumitel staff had marched all over the country, denouncing hazardous working conditions . “We thought our boss would take our protests into consideration and respond to our complaints. That was like a warning,” he says.
He adds that the director of the company has unsuccessfully tried to divide them into groups by corrupting some of them instead of listening to them.

This employees’ representative calls for intervention from the government. “Burundi government should intervene as a guarantor of the rights of every Burundian citizen”.
Iwacu has tried to contact Vietel Managing Director to no avail.

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