1 May 2017

Malawi: Mutharika to Deal With Foreign Companies Exploiting Malawian Workers

President Arthur Peter Mutharika says he will deal with any foreign company exploiting labor rights and laws in Malawi.

He issued the warning on Monday in Blantyre when he presided over celebrations of National Labour Day which were commemorated under the theme; Enhancing Skills Development for Job Creation and Employability in the Work Place.

Mutharika said his government recognizes the need for a skilled workforce in transforming the nation from a predominantly importing and consuming country to a predominantly producing and exporting country hence its commitment in establishing community technical colleges across the country.

"The success of any country depends on the skills of its people. Skills development enhances industrialization which eventually boosts economic growth of the nation. As such, my government has joined the private sector in realizing this quest," he said.

The President called on the private sector to employ more local Malawians including fresh graduates from public universities to ease unemployment in the country.

Mutharika expressed concern over the habit by some foreign investors who are allegedly exploiting the rights of Malawian' workers through physical and emotional abuse.

"I have learnt that some foreign employers are calling Malawian workers monkeys including their president. I will not tolerate this kind of exploitation and if found, you will face the law. If you are a foreign investor, you will be deported within 24 hours," he warned.

On Corruption, Mutharika asked for collective responsibility among stakeholders which include; Civil Society Organizations and Religious Leaders in the fight against the malpractice.

President of Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU) Luther Mambala supported government's agenda of establishing community technical colleges saying they are promoting skills development irrespective of gender.

"We are so grateful for the initiative, however we ask for an increase in budget allocation for the Ministry of Labour to scale up skills development programmes," he said

Mambala lobbied for a revision of the minimum wage for workers, which is currently at K690 per day.

In his response, Mutharika said his government is taking necessary steps to adjust the wages taking into consideration the sustainability of the companies.

He asked for patience among Malawians and also advised the workers to consider contact and dialogue whenever misunderstandings arise between employer and employees other than resorting to industrial action.

Earlier, President Mutharika joined a solidarity big walk in commemoration of the day which falls on May 1 annually.

The Presient toured ESCOM, Illovo, ECAM and Water Board pavilions among others that were mounted during the event.

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