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Ecam promoting industrial harmony

The Employers Consultative Association of Malawi (Ecam) has said upholding the principles of justice and humanity i n t h e w o r k p l a c e increases productivity among employees and lead to more successful organisations.

Ecam says misunderstandings between employers and their employees, which lead to industrial action, largely emanate from lack of understanding of existing international labour standards vis-à-vis national labour laws and policies.

Ecam Vice President, Sean Longwe, said, although the association is implementing various interventions to promote best work practices, a lot of work still needs to be done to build capacity among Ecam members in the fields of employment relations, labour laws and industrial relations.

“Research suggests that industrial harmony promotes increased worker productivity and successful organisations.

“It is, therefore, not surprising that the Sustainable Development Goals have registered employment as key towards sustainable growth of economies. In particular, Goal 8 recognises decent work and sustainable enterprises,” he said.

Longwe was speaking during an interface on Employers Rights Under Labour Laws Ecam organised for its members in Blantyre recently.

He said the association is implementing programmes to promote skills development, worker productivity, recognition of rights at work, in addition to measures aimed at putting an end to discrimination.

“We must ensure that we address fundamental rights at work that can facilitate economic growth, stimulate employment and reduce gender inequalities and also address the needs of vulnerable groups,” Longwe said.

He added that Ecam supports collective bargaining and views it as a constructive cooperation tool to address the needs that arise in the job market.

“Decent work is not just for productive work but, reciprocally, enterprise development and sustainability.

“We need an enabling environment for us to attain these in the near future and beyond,” he said.

One of the facilitators, Laston Masumba, said keeping communication lines open between employers and employees is key to addressing industrial actions in the job market.

“Often, employers do not make available to employees information on how companies are performing and, when employees are denied salary increments, disagreements arise,” he said.

Ecam is an umbrella body of employers in Malawi.

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