The Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU) says it will come up with its long-awaited for stand on the outstanding issues of pension and severance pay today, following exhaustive consultations with affiliate members that started in Blantyre yesterday.
MCTU Secretary General, Austin Mkwezalamba said in an interview the mother trade union recently received funding from the International Labour Organisation (ILO)to tackle the issue once and for all, and that labour unions were now ready to come up with a final stand on the issue he said has brought untold misery and suffering among Malawian workers.
"We are now ready to come up with a final decision, and what sort of action we intend to carry out inorder for government and the private sector to take heed of workers concerns," said Mkwezalamba, who added that the workforce in the country has for a long time been taken for a ride.
He said, among other issues, representatives of trade unions discussed at length ILO Article 87 and 98, and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Social Charter signed in Tanzania by SADC Heads of State and Government. These address the issues of conditions of service such as pension, severance pay and employment contracts, among other issues.
"The reason we delayed to come up with a tentative resoluton as MCTU was because we wanted the entire affiliates' leadership to go through Article 87 and 98 of the ILO and the SADC Social Charter as we never wanted people to accuse us of making unilateral decisions," said Mkwezalamba, adding that the whole process was facilitated by the Geneva-based ILO.
The MCTU General Secretary ruled out the possibility of their final position being thrown out of the window by government. He said by involving ILO they wanted their final position to be in tandern with international standards as espoused by the world labour organisation, and that any disregard by government and the private sector would be tantamount to snubbing international agreements already ratified by Malawi and would paint a bad picture of the country.