Business leaders have described government’s decision to institute the Tripartite Advisory Labour Council as a milestone in the history of Malawi’s labour market.
The Tripartite Council was instituted in September this year as a national tripartite consultative mechanism to provide for consultation and co-operation between the government and the organisations of workers and employers at the national level on matters relating to social and labour policies.
And employers, through the Employers Consultative Association of Malawi, say the newly instituted council will help reduce conflict between labour partners through encouraging contact and dialogue.
Speaking during a breakfast meeting in Blantyre organised to sensitise business leaders on the role of the Tripartite Council, Ecam Executive Director Beyani Munthali said the forum will allow Ecam members to advance their concerns in a manner that promotes social dialogue with the other members of the council.
“At the end of the day, we want to see profitable, productive and competitive employers that can provide conducive working environment for workers thereby contributing to Malawi’s economic growth.
“We expect mutual trust and respect and understanding from our social partners. We also expect them to prepare evidence based advocacy in order for our discussions to be objective,” Munthali said at the end of the meeting.
And Managing Director of G4S Secure Solutions Limited Malawi-Colin Stanley said the forum offers a win-win solution to labour market challenges. Stanley said if all parties commit to contact and dialogue, the right decisions will be made to ensure that both employers and employees are satisfied.
“Most employers know that their most important asset is their employees and we just have to find the right balance to make sure that our businesses are sustainable. If we communicate early with our employees, they will understand the difficult times we are going through that is why it is critical to have unions on board and the government on board,” he observed.
The council, whose mandate expires in 2018, has employer members including Simon Itaye, Nampak Chief Executive, Edith Jiya, Old Mutual Life Assurance Chief Executive Officer, Emmanuel Banda, Group Human Resources Manager, Illovo and Munthali. Government is represented by Secretary for Labour, Secretary to Treasury, Secretary for Trade and Secretary for Human Resources while workers are represented by Chauluka Mwuake, Pontiuas Kalichero, Mwanda Mwambala and Jessie Chingoma.