Malawi’s civil servants, whose number resolves around 200,000, have threatened to hold a nationwide strike on January 9, 2023 following what they call government’s failure to address their salary increment demand.
Earlier this month, the civil servants had requested a 35 percent pay rise.
In a letter addressed to the Chairperson of the Government Negotiating Team (GNT), the Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU) and the Teachers’ Union of Malawi (TUM) say they have arrived at the decision following a meeting they had with the GNT on December 16 in Lilongwe.
“We… would like to notify government of our intention to call for a nationwide industrial strike for all civil servants in Malawi from Monday, 9 January 2023 that shall be called off [when] government addresses all the concerns we presented during the recent GNT meeting at Kumbali Lodge.
“We… have opted for this nationwide industrial action due to government’s failure to address most of the workers’ concerns, especially in relation to the current prevailing high cost of living in Malawi that has made lives of majority of public civil servants unbearable,” reads the letter signed by CSTU General Secretary Madalitso Njolomole and TUM General Secretary Charles Kumchenga.
The civil servants have since expressed hope that the government will treat the letter with “utmost urgency” to mitigate the negative consequences the industrial action.
Kumchenga confirmed writing the GNT in a brief interview Thursday.
Minister of Labour Vera Kamtukule Thursday referred the matter to the GNT when contacted for comment.
We had not managed to get a comment from the team by press time Thursday.
The planned strike by the civil servants comes two weeks after Judiciary support staff also went on a strike to force government to implement their reviewed conditions of service.
The Judiciary workers later called off the strike after an engagement with Finance Minister Sosten Gwengwe.