JTI partners Ministry of Labour in promoting decent work agenda

JTI Malawi Leaf Limited has partnered with the Ministry of Labour in promoting decent work that respects human rights of workers, including tobacco farmers.

Speaking during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Lilongwe on Monday, JTI Director of Corporate Affairs and Communication, Limbani Kakhome, said the company realized the importance of involving government through Ministry of Labour to provide a platform that can lead to decent work and protection of human rights to workers and tobacco farmers.

Signing of MOU between JTI Malawi Leaf Limited and Ministry of Labour

“This partnership is basically talking to the legal and regulatory framework that the ministry created and is empowered to enforce,” he said

He said one of them, which is key, is that the ministry has the mandate to do inspection at any work place.

“We want to leverage on that empowerment they have to enforce labour laws in the country through labour inspections to find out what are the issues,” he said.

He further said the ministry can also create follow-up actions that help private sector, workers on the farm and government to work together to resolve labour issues that have been identified.

Secretary for Labour, Dickson Chunga

Kakhome observed that if Malawi do not enforce decent work agenda, products not only tobacco but agriculture products in all value chain would struggle to access international market because it is becoming a requirement in international markets that you are accountable for your actions on the ground.

In his remarks, Principal Secretary (PS) for Labour, Dickson Chunga, said government is excited with the partnership on labour inspections as it contributes to the aspirations of Malawi Decent Work Country Program (DWCP11).

Chunga said the program articulates the commitment of government address decent work deficits prevailing in the labour market including the tobacco sector.

JTI Director of Corporate Affairs and Communication, Limbani Kakhome

According to him, the overall goal of the program is to contribute the objectives of the National Development Agenda and the Malawi Vision 2063.

Through the MoU, Ministry of Labour will provide training to JTI Agronomy staff and contracted farmers on labour standards and the Malawi labour laws.

The agreement also empowers the ministry to conduct labour inspections in the company’s contracted farms to monitor compliance with labour standards and adherence to labour laws.

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