10 May 2018

Malawi: Government Launches Decent Work Project in Thyolo

Thyolo — The minimum wage for workers in industries will soon depend on profit-making capacity of the employers, Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development, Francis Kasaila has said.

Speaking on Wednesday during the launch of 'Decent work in Tea Estate industry' in Thyolo, Kasaila said the minimum wage for industries can't be the same as other companies make more profits annually than others, hence the need for reflecting the same on the workers' package.

"It is not fair for an industry to stick to the minimum wage of K962.00 per day when it is able to make billions of money than others. We will seriously look into this anomaly," Kasaila said.

He said the tea industry and other sectors need to embrace the Decent Work Project which promotes decent life and better working conditions for workers in the industry.

"We would like to see workers living a happy life. The success of the project is dependent on employers looking into the welfare of their workers wholesomely," the minister said.

According to Kasaila, the tea industry is the second largest employer in Malawi after the public sector, which requires that the living standards of its workers correspond with better working conditions.

He, therefore, commended some tea estates for offering their workers salary above the recommended minimum wage.

Secretary General for Malawi Congress of Trade Union (MCTU), Dennis Kalekeni, said the project was meaningful as it was promoting social dialogue between employers and workers.

Kalekeni said the workers' welfare in the tea sector had some issues that required employers to consider and discuss efforts for ensuring that workers live happily by, among other things, ensuring they have disposable income.

"As MCTU, we recommend this project. This is what we've been advocating for. Workers should live decent life, particularly in tea estates," Kalekeni added.

Decent Work Project is funded by Flanders Government through International Labour Organisation.

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