Job cuts at Universal Industries, fuel stations

Malawi’s major biscuit and confectionery manufacturer, Universal Industries has written the country’s Industry and Trade Ministry informing them that they will close down some departments if the forex and fuel situation does not improve.

This development they say will render hundreds jobless.

In a letter dated December 5, 2011, addressed to the secretary of trade and industry Universal says its capital is being eroded as it cannot produce adequately and ensure that its products are available on the market respectively due to forex and fuel unavailability in Malawi.

Universal Industries stresses that it will have no choice but start closing down some of its section beginning first week of January, 2012.

The company is one of the longest member of Malawi’s industrial sector and it has over 1,600 employees.

On a wider picture Puma Energy has said the shortage of fuel and forex has affected its business estimates this year.

Puma Energy Chief Executive Officer Davis Lanjesi said it is now impossible to do business and also hinted that it may consider retrenching employees.

Many fuel stations in the country have either suspended until further notice or fired attendants as there is literary no business at their workplaces.

The Employers Consultative Association of Malawi said economic activity has sharply dropped by 50 percent because of the crisis and that over 12,000 employees will lose jobs come December 31, 2011.

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