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Macoha workers hold up managers

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Workers at the Malawi Council for the Handicapped (Macoha) weaving factory in Blantyre, yesterday held hostage their two human resource officers for four hours for failing to meet their salary increment demands.

According to the chairperson of the workers union at the factory, Arnold Chaungwe, their management promised to hike the salaries in the month of July but failed to live up to the promise.

When The Daily Times visited the scene, it established that the workers-most of them persons with disabilities-get as low as K30,000 which they claim is not enough to meet their needs.

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Chaungwe explained the ordeal the labourers are going through saying, they feel exploited simply because they are physically challenged as the management continue disregarding their requests.

“We were told that we will receive new salaries and our expectation was that this month’s pay-slips would show the increment. But as we were about to get the pay-slips, we learnt that the management has changed the decision, that is why we thought of holding the human resource officers to invite the finance department so we can talk again here at factory.

“Our fear is that if we let it go this time, it will take us a year to be considered but we are saying enough is enough because those in the offices are getting a lot of money at the expense of the poor persons with disabilities,” lamented Chaungwe.

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The two human resource officers, Francis Baluwa and his female colleague were released later following some deliberations with the workers union chairperson.

Baluwa refused to grant us an interview on his ordeal.

Meanwhile, workers at the weaving factory have agreed to storm Macoha head office today to hear from the management regarding their salary increment.

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