Mauritius: Union organises hundreds of migrant workers

Following BWI's call to "organise beyond borders" and achieve just workplaces everywhere, the Construction, Metal, Wooden, and Related Industries Employees Union (CMWEU) in Mauritius expanded its membership by recruiting 300 additional migrant workers. According to the union, it purposefully organised the most vulnerable workers in the labor market in order to maintain safe and healthy workplaces and influence decision-making in the industries where the workers are employed.

As part of its innovative recruitment campaign, CMWEU developed a digital app called “Just Good Work.” Through the app, the union said that it was able to reach out to millions of workers in the country, as well as migrant workers, who mostly came from Bangladesh.

According to the CMWEU, many companies exploit Bangladeshi migrant workers who do not speak the local language. The majority of migrant laborers in the country's construction industry are undocumented, work irregularly, and are paid less than the minimum wage. They also lack social protection as well as adequate health and safety safeguards. The union explained that they organised the migrant workers to assist them in protecting themselves from the employers' labor abuse and government negligence.

‘‘Despite the few contributions of migrant workers to our union fees, CMWEU believes that migrant workers should have the same rights as local workers and need to be protected from exploitation and modern slavery,” said Reeaz Chuttoo,  CMWEU Execom member.

BWI Regional Representative Crecentia Mofokeng congratulated the CMWEU on its recent organising success. She gave strong assurances that BWI will continue to support CMWEU in advancing and securing workers’ rights in Mauritius and the region at large.