Temporary workers at Southern Region Water Board (SRWB) on Monday closed the main gate of its head office in Zomba forcing management to accept the meeting they requested in which they want to present their grievances.
The closure of the main gate affected both customers who were already inside and outside to access services.
The angry workers did not allow any official vehicle to enter or exit the office until management accepted to meet them in presence of some Board members for SRWB.
According to one of temporary workers who has worked for the SRWB for 15 years under temporary employment Frank Mtukanika, concerned workers have been requesting to meet management to present grievances but have been blocked.
“We decided to close the main gate to the head office as a warning that we are tired of being blocked to meet management of the board,” said Mtukanika.
He said they wanted to present their concerns to top officials of the board since their supervisors have not been coming up with solutions to the concerns.
Among others, they have been complaining about favouritism where when internal vacancies are released by the board, their bosses pick their relatives for the positions leaving out them who have served for many years with experience.
“Our bosses mostly favour their relatives when it comes to employment of new officers leaving out us who have served for many years under temporary basis. They reach an extent of employing a relative with a Standard 8 certificate leaving us with Junior certificates and Malawi School Certificate of education,” said Mtukanika.
Another concern they want to be addressed is to be openly addressed on conditions of a temporary workers as they are told that no funeral benefits for such temporary workers.
“We want to know our working conditions because we are told that there is no funeral benefits to be provided by the board. Our salary is still at K35, 000 despite working for many years,” said another concerned worker.
During the protest against behaviour of employer, temporary workers also revealed that they are used to mould, burn bricks of their supervisors to an extent of building houses in Zomba city as part of their work to the water body.
Arrival of one of the board members Lawrence Bisika gave hope to them and opened the gate then proceeded to meet the management.
During the meeting with management, they were told to put their concerns in writing and present to management so that they respond accordingly.
However, the workers were not convinced with the decision and threatened to take legal action on the matter.
Public Relations Officer for the board Rita Makwangwala asked for more time to comment as management officials were still in a meeting.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :