Government calls for conciliation in water board dispute
Central Region Water Board (CRWB) employees have postponed their planned industrial strike pending conciliation process scheduled for Wednesday.
Secretary for the Ministry of Labour and Skills and Innovation, Esmie Kainja, advised the union to liaise with management and find an independent conciliator to assist them settle the dispute.
The staff, through Water Employees Trade Union of Malawi (WETUM) is demanding pension arrears, Sacco funds, insurance policy and removal of some senior management personnel in the administration and technical services department.
“Kindly take note that [the] government has controlling interest in Central Region Water Board because is a quasi-government public institution. In accordance with section 44(2) of the Labour Relations Act, the parties belonging to institutions where [the] government has control, we have to agree upon a conciliator who shall endeavour to conciliate them,” the letter reads.
CRWB Board Chairperson, Apostle Madalitso Mbewe, informed the union of progress made to liquidate outstanding staff issues of pension, Sacco, group life insurance and other allowances and pleaded with them to withdraw the demands.
But the union’s chairperson Anuel Mkandawire and his secretary general, Jecup Lutele, have rebuffed the plea maintaining their demand to have the Director of Finance and Administration Ernest Mtawali and Director of Technical Services John Makwenda removed from their offices.
“In view of the positive development and assurance on the future of the raised issues, it is my strong belief that you will withdraw your demand as the basis upon which the demand is emerged is being taken care of with strong verve,” he said.
The employees are expected to meet with Mbewe on Wednesday for conciliation process.
Among other issues, the union is accusing management of poor financial management policies hence the company is accumulating more debts, failure to set good polices on revenue collection and failing to remit pensions, Sacco and personal insurance policy deductions.