The average wage for the dockers is only $40 per month, with a maximum of about $10 per day if container volumes are high; without these wages, the dismissed unionists are struggling to pay the bills, ITF said. Tata Ramilison, one of the 43 men let go, had joined the union because he had not received a wage increase in 27 years. He is now pulling a rickshaw for a living.
ITF notes that ICTSI, the terminal operator at Port of Toasmina, generated a profit margin exceeding 40 percent for 2013 and 2014, with average earnings per TEU approaching $60. By comparison, dockers at Port of Toamasina earn about $0.02 per container.
“Unless the Madagascan Government reinstates the sacked workers they will face international condemnation for failure to observe the basic human rights for their own citizens,” the ITF said. “Many international brands in the clothing industry operate factories in Madagascar and they will be watching this case very closely.”