The Journalists Union of Malawi (JUMA) has strongly criticised the Malawi Institute of Journalism (MIJ), for the firing of 13 of its staff members.
JUMA says it is in support of the demands raised by the fired in April this year, which are valid.
MIJ, says the union, should not have been resistant to improving perks and work conditions of service for its employees at this time when everyone is affected by the 10 and 49 percent devaluation of the Kwacha respectively.
“The decision taken by MIJ is being viewed here as mere scapegoat to improving the welfare of journalists and to create fear in those asking for better working conditions. MIJ as training and broadcasting house was not supposed to have championed the firing because employees
are also human beings with many needs,” challenges the union.
JUMA says there are labour laws in place which are meant to promote and defend ones working rights in Malawi.
“Our call therefore is that MIJ should rescind its decision, otherwise, it will pay dearly for the decision should the fired staff resort to seeking legal redress. JUMA is also in touch with sister organisations Cowuma and MCTU who had initiated discussions earlier on to see how best to handle this,” adds the journalists’ work rights body in a statement signed by its Secretary General George Mhango on behalf of its president, Collins Mtika.
MIJ Radio management dismissed 13 employees in what it calls restructuring exercise following several meetings between management and the board aimed at resolving financial woes. Workers also staged a strike in demand for better wages in response to the recent devaluation effects.
MIJ is one of the competitive media institutions promoting and sensitizing the rights of people.