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Ex-Alteo Employees Disappointed: Call for Better Retirement Conditions



Ex-Alteo Employees Disappointed: Call for Better Retirement Conditions
Image source: l'Express

Disappointing. This is the feeling that prevails among former employees of Alteo.

The retirees, gathered within the association of this group, are calling on the sugar company to respect the recommendations of the Mauritius Sugar Producers Association (MSPA) and the authorities.

In response, Alteo remains open to constructive dialogue with the association. Their directives are clear.

The former executives of Alteo are requesting an upward revision of their retirement conditions.

According to a member of the association: “We aspire to an improvement in our retirement conditions in line with the annual government recommendations and MSPA guidelines.”

It is worth noting that the MSPA had previously recommended an increase in pensions funded by the employer, as well as a year-end bonus based on the same employer contribution.

To date, retirees feel that they are receiving a devalued pension. “These two criteria are not being met by Alteo whereas they have been by other less prosperous sugar companies for over a decade.”

Furthermore, this association member asserts that tangible evidence has been gathered, showing that retirees from two different sugar groups received the year-end bonus in 2023, as well as the government-mandated increase starting in January.

Another recommendation from the association concerns a review of medical insurance coverage, as well as other medical expenses, and an increase in visiting hours and consultation frequency.

“Regarding the distribution of medication for chronic illnesses, retirees want it to be done every four months instead of the current three months.”

Pre-budget consultations.In another development, Alteo retirees submitted a document to the Minister of Finance on March 28 as part of pre-budget consultations.

They requested amendments to the ministry on the sugarcane Industry Pension Fund Act 42 of 1955.

Among their proposals, they suggested that the government appoint a representative from the Ministry of Finance and a representative from pensioners to the board of directors of the Sugar Industry Pension Fund (SIPF) to ensure greater transparency.

Moreover, they insisted that the cost of living be considered in pension calculations and that a thirteenth month be obligatory at the end of each calendar year.

They believe that the government and the sugar industry could come together to replenish the SIPF fund.

“We believe that the government and the sugar industry can sit down to find a financing solution to replenish the SIPF fund. A tax on IRS or land sales as was the case for VRS and Blue Print could be considered.”

The association highlighted delays in contributions from some sugar mills to the SIPF.

“Private and public companies have a duty to ensure that pensioners can lead a decent and dignified life. Additionally, the Pay Research Bureau grants an increase to government pensioners in each report, underscoring the importance of fair and equitable retirement conditions for all retirees.”

On their part, Alteo management emphasized that the retirement benefits of former executives are defined by a collective agreement between the group and the Sugar Industry Staff Employees Association (SISEA) and that all commitments under this agreement have always been honored.

“Alteo has always favored open dialogue with the official representatives of its former executives within SISEA. We recognize the crucial role played by these former executives in the group’s history.”

“However, we also have an obligation to ensure that our activities remain viable in the long term in order to meet all our obligations to our current employees and all our stakeholders.”

The management said they remain open to constructive dialogue with SISEA. “Discussions are already underway regarding the future renewal of the aforementioned agreements. Our goal is to find solutions that meet the expectations of all parties involved.”

Source: l’Express

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