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罢工了!——忆加纳(十三)Strike!  

2013-06-06 06:19:13|  分类: 加纳记忆 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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罢工了!——忆加纳(十三)Strike! - 飚 - 飚
   在加纳工作时最惊心动魄的经历应该属工人罢工了。罢工一般都发生在工人签订集体协议成为所谓的正式员工后,在阿克拉学习时就知道它的厉害。集体协议是工会代表工人与外国公司签订的集体劳动协议,受国际劳动法的保护。在加纳,根据惯例只要在一个公司工作3个月以上,不管是否签订劳动合同,就自动成为正式员工,享受一定的福利待遇,辞退时还要给一笔可观的解雇费,这也是为什么工人都争着到外国公司工作的根本原因。而外国公司当然不愿意承担这样的费用,因此会尽量减少赔偿费的数额和其他福利待遇。可以说双方的矛盾不可调和,谁也不肯让步,唯一的解决途径就是罢工,不可避免,这一点双方都很清楚!
    
罢工了!——忆加纳(十三)Strike! - 飚 - 飚
    项目开工三个月左右,就如预期的一样,当地的工会就找到公司,要求签订集体协议,维护工人的利益。双方约定谈判时间,你一拳我一脚最终达成协议,公司给工人涨了一些工资,福利待遇也有所提高。但是也如预期的一样,工人是不会满足的,我们已经做好迎接罢工的准备。
    罢工如期举行,尽管有一定的心理准备,可是罢工的场面还是让我十分震惊。所有工人停止工作,将道路封锁,把工地大院的大门堵上,然后敲锣打鼓,舞刀弄枪,大嚷大叫,示威游行。为了烘托气氛,还在门口点燃旧轮胎,一时间浓烟滚滚,火苗乱窜,那阵势可以说惊天地泣鬼神。他们喊得最多的就是我的名字,因为是我代表公司和他们进行谈判的,他们把我当成罪魁祸首。工人为了壮胆,都会喝些酒,他们的酒量不大,一点酒精就能让他们情绪高亢,眉飞色舞,这也是他们罢工时喝酒的原因。
    
罢工了!——忆加纳(十三)Strike! - 飚 - 飚
    这个时候,工会的人不知从哪里冒了出来,和我们继续谈条件,说工人对工资涨幅不满意,要求再增长20%。我们也有所准备,拿出我们的标书和预算,说明项目资金很紧张,如果涨工资可能会使项目停工,对加纳政府和人们都不利。同时,还将与我们合作的当地咨询公司的主管请来,让他们作解释,最后给他们象征性的涨了5%的工资,这才作罢!
    为了保护公司财务,我们将当地军队给请了过来,这些人荷枪实弹,让人感觉踏实。别说,工人的气焰明显给压了下去,叫声也没那么大了。到了下午,工人折腾够了,累了,就这么鸣金收兵了,让人感觉有点虎头蛇尾。我们给军队的士兵和军官每人一些钱,将他们打发走,就算熬过了这次罢工。
    第二天,就像没事人似得,工人照常上班,我真佩服他们的心理素质。罢工时,我们给一些骨干分子都拍了照,今天一个明天两个都给开除了,这叫秋后算账,留下他们等于养虎为患!通过这次罢工,我对他们的了解更多了一些,他们看你是外国公司,认为很有钱,就是想多要点钱。他们管我们叫白人,认为我们很有钱,我说我们不是,但是在他们眼里,我们就是白人,因为与他们的黑皮肤相比,我们显得太白了。

罢工了!——忆加纳(十三)Strike! - 飚 - 飚
 
罢工了!——忆加纳(十三)Strike! - 飚 - 飚
        Working in Ghana the most thrilling experience is witnessing the local workers’ strike against our company. Strikes, quite common in Ghana, usually happened after the signing of collective agreement when the workers became formal employees of the company. I had learned its power when I studied laws in Accra. Collective agreement, protected by international labour law, is a kind of employment contract signed between a foreign company and the trade union on behalf of local workers. In Ghana, according to the convention, all the workers would automatically become formal after more than six months service in a company irrespective of whether singing a labour contract or not and enjoy all the welfare of the company. When a worker was discharged he would be paid a handsome amount of money as compensations. So it was no wonder that local people were dying to work in foreign companies. However, foreign companies definitely did not want to incur such expenses, so they would try to reduce as much as possible the amount of compensation and other welfare. The contradiction between the both sides was irreconcilable and the only way to settle the issue was through strike. It was very clear to both sides that strike was inevitable.

Six months or so after the commencement of the project, just like prearranged, local trade union came to our company and demand to sign collective agreement to protect the workers’ interest. The two parties appointed a time for negotiation and after arguing and bargaining the agreement was finally reached that the workers’ salary was raised to some extent and the welfare was also improved. Just as predicted, the workers would not satisfy with the terms and conditions of the agreement and we were getting ready for the strike.

罢工了!——忆加纳(十三)Strike! - 飚 - 飚

The strike broke on time as was anticipated. Though knowing it would happen, I was still greatly shocked. All the workers stopped working and blocked the road and the gate of the construction site, beating the drums and gangs while crying and chanting slogans. In order to threaten us they even burnt used rubber tyres. The scene was really extraordinarily shocking with the billowing of smoke and flame everywhere. What they called most was my English name “David” because I was the one to negotiate on behalf of our company with them. They thought I was the arch criminal. The workers all drank some alcohol to boost their courage though they were not good at drinking. A little bit of alcohol would make them excited and enraptured. That was the reason why they drank in the strike.

    Just at this crucial moment the people from trade union came from the middle of nowhere and demand further negotiation. They claimed that the workers were not satisfied with the present salary and wanted to increase it by 20%. We were also well prepared and took out our bidding documents and budgets to show them that the project was financially very tight. If we raised the salary the project might be suspended, which was not good for Ghana government and people. In the mean time we also invited the head of our consultant company to explain the situation and finally we raised the salary by 5% as a token to quench the strike.

罢工了!——忆加纳(十三)Strike! - 飚 - 飚

In order to protect our property and our colleagues, we also invited local army to send soldiers carrying loaded guns to monitor the strike. It was quite effective that the workers’ fever and arrogance were suppressed drastically and their crying was not so loud. By the afternoon the workers were tired after so much crying and began to beat the gang for retreat, a little bit anti-climax. We distributed some money to all the solders and officers to send them back. This way we manage to weather out the strike.

    By the second day all the workers came back to work just like nothing had ever happened. I really admired their psychological diathesis. During the strike we took pictures of those core members and after strike we dismissed them one after another. This is called settling the account afterwards because keeping them was just tantamount to keeping a tiger to threaten the keeper himself. Through the strike we knew more about the local workers who thought you were a foreign company with a lot of money. They thought you were rich white men and just wanted to get as much money as possible from you. In their eyes we were so white just like westerners though I explained to them we were not white men, but they still regarded us as white men because we were much whiter than them though we are yellow compared with Caucasian.


 

罢工了!——忆加纳(十三)Strike! - 飚 - 飚
 
罢工了!——忆加纳(十三)Strike! - 飚 - 飚
 
罢工了!——忆加纳(十三)Strike! - 飚 - 飚
 

 
罢工了!——忆加纳(十三)Strike! - 飚 - 飚
 

 

 
罢工了!——忆加纳(十三)Strike! - 飚 - 飚

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