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Business captain faults commercial laws for persistent strikes

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Business captain, George Partridge, has faulted the country’s commercial laws, saying they fuel strikes.

Partridge, who is the Group Chief Executive Officer of Press Corporation, was speaking in Blantyre during presentation of findings of a research conducted by Master of Law students at Chancellor College.

Partridge said commercial laws in Malawi prove ineffective, especially in resolving disputes between employers and employees, saying they favour employees.

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Partridge cited a requirement that employers should continue paying their employees even when they are on strike.

“In other countries, when the employees are on strike, they are paid by unions. The unions do not want to lose a lot of money, the workers strike just for a day or two and go back to work.

“Here in Malawi, the strikes are rampant and every month end people get paid by the employer. There is no incentive for the workers to go back to work and they can strike even for a year while being paid,” he said.

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High Court Judge for the Commercial Division and Comesa Court of Justice, Michael Mtambo, said there is need to strike a balance between the interests of the employees and the employers.

“We should not just look at one side of the coin. Sometimes workers have legitimate concerns and if we give the employers too much powers, workers may suffer,” he said.

Dean of the Faculty of Law at Chancellor College, Garton Kamchedzera, said the academia have a role to provide suggestions to policy makers.

He said the presentations which were made at the meeting provided interesting insights on how some of the challenges facing the country can be dealt with.

The workshop was held under the theme: ‘The Future of Commercial Law in Malawi’.

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