Post Office Staff on strike in Lilongwe

Residents of Lilongwe Capital City on Monday were disturbed to note that all post offices were shut down leaving all postal services at a standstill as workers went on strike demanding salary hike.

A client, Martha Mpaweni of Area 49 location, in an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) reporter who was at Capital City Post Office to observe the sit-in, said every person who had come to the post office to conduct business returned home annoyed for failing to be served.

“I have just arrived and they are telling me to go back home,” she said.

According to an inside source, workers were demanding a 21 percent salary hike as opposed to the 5 percent that the corporation had effected in July.

The source who did not

Strike at Lilongwe Post Office

want his identity revealed said after the kwacha was devalued in May; expectations of many workers were that salaries would be adjusted to cushion people from the effects of the weakened kwacha.

The source said many members of staff were unhappy with the 5 percent increment the corporation had effected.

“This is unfair, how can they give us 5 percent when they know that the kwacha has been devalued by almost 50 percent.

“We have all resolved not to work until we have our salaries adjusted,” the source said.

Another source asked why the institution raised their salaries with only 5 percent “when almost every company was improving salaries of their employees.

“If Group 4 Security company can increase salaries of its staff by 49 percent, why not us,” the source argued.

At the time Mana reporter visited the city centre post office before lunch hour many customers were seen sitting outside.

According to a security personnel at the spot and also spoke on condition of anonymity, some post office workers reported for work in the morning but few minutes later agreed to go and camp at the head office in the Old Town.

“I only saw some members of staff but they have gone to Old town, that is where I am told they are camping,” the guard said.

Efforts to talk to the Postal Master General, Andrew Kumbatira proved futile as his phone could not be reached.

But reports suggested that the management team was having a discussion on the same in closed doors.

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