Minister of Labour Ken Kandodo on Wednesday, 6 January 2021 brought together management and staff of Malawi Airlines to discuss possible solutions on the issues affecting the workers and make sure that they have necessary energy when providing their services.
The meeting came following a warning that the workers issued warning letter to put down tools if their grievances including salary increment were not going to be addressed with urgency.
Speaking in an interview with Nyasa Times on the sidelines of the meeting at Capitol Hill in Lilongwe, the chairperson of Malawian Airline Workers Union (Mawu) Thokozani Matumba said the discussions on the staff grievances started in 2019 but stalled for a long time without reaching a satisfactory conclusion and that necessitated them to plan for a strike that was supposed to take place on Wednesday, 6 January before the ministry intervened.
“We have been talking about this issue several times but nothing tangible happened that is why we planned for a strike so that they could take our concerns seriously. However with the coming in of the ministry of labour, we believe they will take an action and solve the problems,” he said
Matumba said among other things they are demanding that the company should come up with a new salary structure that will motivate the workers and they are instructed to form a new committee to fasten the salary structuring process.
He, further, thanked the minister for championing the dialogue and he is optimistic that their grievances will be taken seriously.
Addressing both the management and staff members, Kandodo said the workers presented a genuine concern that is why he was quick to respond.
“Yes, the ministry considered the grievances presented and concluded that they were genuine and warrant a serious attention by the management. The main issue was about the need for a review of salary structure at Malawian Airlines.
“Looking at the situation, the Ministry decided to convince the two parties to give dialogue a chance considering that strike would affect the already difficult financial situation for the company,” he said.
However, the Ministry has pledged to facilitate a tripartite negotiation process that will see all the parties coming to a consensus on salary increment issue, among others and Malawian Airlines management has also made a commitment to honour the outcomes of the negotiations.
Regional organizer for Transport and General Workers Union Macdonald Chuma thanked the minister for taking an action and he believes that the meeting will bare its desired fruits.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :