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Malawi College of Health Sciences seeks court intervention on strike

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By Audrey Kapalamula:

Authorities at Malawi College of Health Sciences (MCHS) have sought relief at the Industrial Relations Court in Lilongwe over the on-going college staff strike.

The college has applied for an injunction restraining the workers from continuing with the strike.

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According to a document in support of the application, dated November 8 2018, the applicant describes the strike as illegal.

The college argues that the workers’ refusal to return to work after being communicated to on the progress made to attend to the workers’ grievances contravenes Section 46 of the Labour Relations Act.

“It is very clear that negotiations between the applicant and respondents have failed thereby invoking the need for the matter to go for conciliation as required by Section 46 of the Labour Relations Act,” reads the document.

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It adds: “That is the applicants understanding that the respondents strike is illegal and therefore must be compelled to return to work to allow the process under Section 46 to take place.”

Industrial Relations Court Assistant Registrar, Howard Pemba, said the application was filed on Monday.

The workers have entered a fourth week of the strike demanding implementation of a new salary structure, remittance of pension arrears to Nico Company and management to put them on life cover.

Chairperson of the Workers’ Welfare Committee, Hellen Mwafulirwa, said they are aware of the matter and await the decision of the court.

On November 2, the Board Chairperson Kondwani Chalulu told the workers, through their welfare committee, that the college had paid the group life cover and that the board is looking into the new salary structure as well as working on payment plan of pension arrears.

The board proposed re-opening of the college by November 12 but the staff rejected the proposal demanding that the board meet all their demands.

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