MBC panics ahead of August 23 strike

By Nyasa Times Repoter

Management at the state broadcaster, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), is under panic ahead of the impending August 23 strike by members of staff over the issue of merger between the radio and television (TVM).

The workers have planned for a nationwide strike to press authorities to come out plainly on the issue which has seen management and government giving contradicting statements.

The strike has been called by the workers union although bosses for Radio 1 and Radio 2, Hamilton Chimala and Siphiwe Banda respectively, have reportedly been urging their staff members on duty not to heed the call but come to work.

The two have totally down played the strike and have since written the Director of News and Programmes Chimwemwe Banda affirming that they have successfully convinced their workers on that day’s shifts to come to work.

Malopa: Workers will receive letters

But members of the union have put their feet down and threatened to seal the gates should management fail to address the issue before the said day.

What pains the workers most is the fact that some few individuals from the radio have already started enjoying better salaries equivalent to those working at the television station while nothing is known of the majority.

“The majority who were promised that their perks would also be raised to equal those working at the television are still struggling,” a disgruntled employee told Nyasa Times.

For instance, with the new arrangement the salary of a secretary at the radio is far much below that of a guard or messenger working at the television, our source said.

And on Wednesday, MBC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bright Malopa addressed members of staff from the radio where he was reportedly at pains to explain why management and government are giving conflicting information regarding the issue.

Last week, Malopa had told the workers through a message which was also televised that they would receive letters indicating whether they were part of the merger or would be redeployed to some government departments.

“But a few days later, we were shocked to read on the notice board a letter from the Controller of Statutory Corporations asking us to be patient with the issue,” explained the source.

The issue worsened when the CEO told the employees that officials from the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) would be addressing them on Friday over the same the issue.

“This development further puzzled and angered the employees because MBC does not fall under the OPC but Department responsible for Statutory Corporations so how is OPC coming  in,” queried our source.

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