New salaries: Defiant employers breaking the law By Rose Athumani THE CITIZEN The government has declared that defiant employees going against the government's directive on the new salary scheme for the private sector by sacking unsuspecting employees are breaking the law. Reports have it that more than 3,000 employees in industries and tanzanite mines in Mererani area in Manyara region have been sacked, as employers say they cannot foot the new minimum wages for the private sector ordered by the government. Employees dismissed are in the older salary range of Sh48, 000 to Sh100, 000 who according to the new salary scheme were supposed to get Sh150,000 and Sh350,000 respectively. Speaking to The Citizen over the phone, the Minister for Labour, Employment and Youth Development Capt. John Chiligati said those sacking employees without valid reasons are going against the law and would be prosecuted if the dismissals are taken to court. Capt Chiligati said: �There are laws that an employer must follow when sacking an employee, and if it is proved that these laws were not followed, those employers will be taken to court. The minister also directed employees sacked unlawfully to take complaints to the Commission for Mediation and Arbitration (CMA) who will probe the matter and give its verdict. From there if either party is not satisfied, then they can proceed to labour courts, which are now part of the High Court, the minister added. Mr Nestroy Ngulla, the secretary general for the Trade Union Congress of Tanzania (TUCTA), confirmed that his office had received complaints and directed TAMICO to follow up on the matter and submit a report on Monday. Mr Ngulla said employers sacking workers without following legal procedures are breaching the law and would be prosecuted if the trade union branches certify that the complaints are true. He appealed to the government to take measures against employers dismissing employees over the new salary scheme for the private sector. The new salary scheme directive issued by the Minister for Labour was a decision by the government, he further stated. And as such, it automatically becomes the employee's right to receive the new salary ordered by the government. They do not need to beg to be paid that salary but they must be paid because it is the government�s set figure, Mr Ngulla underlined. This is a conflict of rights, and there is an instrument that looks into these labour issues, the Commission for Mediation and Arbitration. The employees must forward complaints to CMA, who will probe to see if their sacking is justified or not and take legal action.� Mr Ngulla cautioned the government to be on its guard as the employers are "trying to test the waters to see its depth. The government should be on guard with these employers, they are now trying to check and assess what it will do, the unions leader underlined. On Thursday, the sacked employees staged a demonstration and marched to the TUICO offices. Mr Jones Majura, the TUICO secretary, said they had received the complaints and promised the angry employees that the union would work on them. Mr Majura said if it was found that employers went against the government's directive on the new salary scheme they would be arraigned in court.