Attorney General stops Judiciary staff strike with court injunction

Judiciary support staff planned strike today will not go ahead after Attorney General (AG) obtained an injunction restraining the workers from withdrawing labour.

Kaphale (right) and Itimu: Stop court staff strike

Judicial workers across the country threatened an indefinite industrial strike from Wednesday to press government for a 27 percent increment in salary arrears, among other demands.

The issue dates back to 2014 when the employees pushed for a 45 percent salary increment, but in line with the 46 percent that was given to the mainstream civil service, they ended up getting 18 percent and are now demanding the difference.

But Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale argued that said the strike does not comply with Section 44 of the Labour Relations Act.

Spokesperson for Ministry of Justice, Apoche Itimu, who is also a senior State advocate, said the judiciary staff needed to follow the right procedure of presenting their grievances to the Ministry of Justice, Constitutional Affairs’s Principal Secretary and wait for a response within 21 days before staging a strike.

According to the injunction copy seen by Nyasa Times, the AG is the applicant with Judiciary Support Staff Union president Charles Emuhiyemwana Lizigeni and all union members as respondent.

“This means the strike cannot go ahead. The strike was illegal,” Itumu said.

Judiciary spokesperson Mlenga Mvula said following the injunction, the strike could not go ahead.

“Management wants mediation to take a centre stage as opposed to the strike,” he said.

The support staff rejected a request from the Law Society of Malawi to mediate on the matter arguing they were an interested party.

Spokesperson for the Judiciary Support Staff Andy Hariwa said he had not yet seen the injunction which the state obtained after working hours on Tuesday in Lilongwe. He, however, said the strike would be aborted annd staff return to work as soon the organisers of the strike get a copy of the court injunction.

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Hlabezulu Ngonoonda
Hlabezulu Ngonoonda
5 years ago

Counsel Mr. Kalekeni Kaphale, congrats for getting the injunction. I wish it were a mandatory injunction. But make it a point that it is not vacated long before you get to the reasons for which it was taken in the first place. If they dare do so with their intended strike, please, get in touch with the Judicial Service Commission and the Dept of Human Resource to recruit new staff so that judicial services in all courts continual to be offered as normal.

5 years ago

This is the same issue with UNIMA, Support staff being treated differently with Teaching staff. Core function against Support function…………..which direction Malawi?

5 years ago

Why are people at the Judiciary and Chancellor College in the habit of going on strike? This is a culture that needs to be stopped in these Institutions. It’s selfishness because some people are denied their rights, the right to justice and the right to education, because of love of money by these people in these institutions, which can also be sinful. Why do these people not start up small businesses so as to supplement to their income, instead of expecting everything from their employers? This is the calibre that expects Government or the President to do everything for them.… Read more »

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