Malawi govt quells Airlines employees’ strike to allow President Chakwera travel to Mozambique

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)–In a clever move, the Malawi government, through the Ministry of Labour, has suppressed the Airlines employees’ strike which was slated for tomorrow 27th May to allow President Lazarus Chakwera to travel to Mozambique without hurdles.

The employees were from tomorrow expected to embark on a strike to force management to meet their demands on the need for salary restructuring.

But the Ministry of Labour has told media today that the strike might not take place as the deputy Minister Vera Kamtukule has intervened to have the employees’ grievances addressed after meeting with the company’s management led by its chief executive officer.

In a statement, the Ministry said during the meeting, Management of Malawi Airlines confirmed that they have addressed the concerns raised by Transport and General Workers Union in their notice to go on strike.

“Since the employer has already addressed the concerns, there is no reason for the workers to go on strike and if they proceed to withdraw Labour, it will be deemed illegal. Whenever a strike is illegal, the employer is justified to take appropriate disciplinary measures,” reads the statement.

However, the Union’s central regional organizer Mcdonald Chuma said what the Ministry was saying on behalf of the management was untrue as the Union was not involved in any meeting mediated by the Ministry.

He said there was no way the Ministry and management would resolve the issues on their own without the involvement of the aggrieved workers, hence the strike will proceed tomorrow.

In the notice addressed to management, the Union is calling for salary restructuring to be at least closer to what fellow airlines are offering in terms of their salary grades.

If the employees snub the deputy minister’s plea, all Malawi Airlines planes will be grounded and likely paralyze President Lazarus Chakwera’s trip to Mozambique slated for tomorrow.

Chakwera will be traveling to attend the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) extraordinary double Troika meeting in seeking to resolve conflicts between insurgents and the Military in that country.

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