• Mauritian workers' rights are in danger, protesters warn

“We will not dominate the later Moris”; “No, the koolidid and the explwatasion of foreign workers”; “No, we will not be people”… Slogans chanted by the participants in the march to denounce the mass recruitment of foreign workers. This measure was announced during the presentation of the 2024-25 Budget on June 7.

At the call of the General Workers Federation (GWF), various unions and workers from various trades in the private sector rallied to march in the streets of Port-Louis on Saturday. The recruitment of up to 100% foreign workers in certain sectors has been strongly criticized. “Se komansman enn gran mouvman dan nou pei”, warns Ashok Subron of the GWF.

The various unions will ensure that the rights of these foreign workers are respected, he says. “We will not say that they will come to work to be treated as Morisians or that they will be treated as Morisian workers,” adds Ashok Subron.

He calls for a freeze on the opening of the labour market and a review of this measure after the general elections, so that there can be a debate on migration policy beforehand. He also calls for the maintenance of the status quo regarding the number of foreign workers allowed to come to Mauritius based on the number of Mauritian employees. Ashok Subron also advocates for the establishment of a national employment agency so that recruitment is carried out according to demand.

Opposition MPs, including Joanna Bérenger, took part in the march. She is demanding that the measures in the Finance Bill not be voted on as they stand, particularly the facilities for recruiting foreign workers.

For his part, Naraindranath Gopee explains that it is out of solidarity that he joined the march, because the measures announced go against the interests of the workers. For him, the new laws will be “a crime” against Mauritian workers. According to Rajen Narsinghen, the laws that the government wants to pass are “bogus” and will “crush” both foreign workers and be discriminatory towards Mauritian employees, some of whom prefer to emigrate.

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