Judicial support staff, who downed tools mid July 2017 demanding house allowances and also harmonization of conditions of service with those of judicial officers, have called off the strike.
The support staff, who earlier indicated that they will not back down, have resolved to resume work on Thursday, August 24.
Their decision comes barely a day after Chief Secretary to the Government, Lloyd Muhara warned that government will withhold their wages should they continue with their industrial action, which he described as illegal.
According to a statement signed by Charles Lizigeni, President for members of staff of the Malawi Judiciary, they arrived at the decision following legal advice they got from their lawyers.
Lizigeni said they also considered the right of access to justice and legal remedies of the citizenry and also the appeal from the Chief Justice.
“We wish to make it clear to the public that contrary to false assertions made by the Minister of Finance and Chief Secretary to the Office of the President and Cabinet, the strike is lawful and fully compliant with all sections of the Labours Relations Act with particular reference to Section 44,” reads the statement in part.
The statement further assures the general public that they will have full access to the Courts by August 24.
He said they have been advised on other legal avenues for claiming their house allowances and “owing to the foregoing we have decided to pursue the same.”
Government issued a warning that it would withhold wages of striking judiciary support staff across the country they dont return to work.
The nationwide sit-in has crippled the judicial services across in the country.
The judicial support staff include court clerks, court marshals, drivers, interpreters and court reporters.
According to the Chief Secretry to the Government Llyod Muhara, the demand for housing allowances is not supported by the law as it is not provided for in the conditions of service.
Muhara further observed that it is illegal for support staff of the judiciary to block judicial premises and obstruct access to the courts.
“Government is therefore directing the support staff of the Judiciary to return to work immediately. Should the support staff refuse to comply with this directive, Government shall lock them out except for those willing to return to work unconditionally.
“Government shall also withhold wages from all those members of staff that will continue with the said illegal industrial action and take such further action within the law as would be available to any employer,” said Muhara in a statement issued on Monday.
He directed the support staff to remove any obstructions placed by them and to allow access to the premises for those not on strike as well as the general public requiring judicial services.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :