By Hailegebriel Endeshaw
ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – The Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Union (CETU) has requested Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to talk to the leadership of the Confederation regarding the pressing issues of the workers.
CETU stated in a letter addressed to the PM that the needed talk with him would help the Confederation to get responses to workers’ questions including the ones that were supposed to be raised in public during the May Day Celebration marked a week before.
CETU indicated in the letter addressed to the Premier that the Ethiopian workers and their families have been in a situation where they can’t live due to high cost of living. Owing to this, “meeting the Premier has become a must and the only option,” the Confederation said.
CETU mentioned in the letter that though it forwarded questions to relevant government bodies regarding the pressing issues of the workers, it has not yet been able to receive responses.
The government bodies that have been approached by the Confederation has been reluctant to respond to the questions. That’s why CETU was compelled to submit its request to the Prime Minister, the letter stated.
Previously CETU had sent similar questions to the PM. Had that letter reached him, he would have asked to talk to the Confederation, the letter indicated. CETU asked the PM to sacrifice his precious time and talk to its leadership concerning pressure resulted from price escalation and other burning questions of the workers.
The Confederation has also raised in its letter about the problem it faced not to celebrate its annual May Day celebration this year. “We had made preparation to voice our questions during May Day in a peaceful demonstration involving the workers located in Addis Ababa, Adama, Jimma, Hawassa and Diredawa excluding Tigray and Amhara Region. However, quite contrary to the rule, we were not allowed. Thus, we were deprived of our constitutional rights of assembly and expression of ideas, CETU said in its letter.
The pressure occurred on the workers due to cost of living and the problem related to the application of the right to organize are among the pressing and timely questions. A letter, with list of issues related to the cost of living along with proposed solutions, has been submitted to Minister of Economy and Finance, Ahmed Shide, CETU said.
The letter has proposed readjustment of minimum salaries as one of the solutions to address the problems of cost of living the workers has been facing. CETU asked increment of the non-taxable salary rate from its current 600 birr. The confederation has further asked the reduction of tax deduction from the salary at every level.
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