MCTU presses government on minimum wage

KALEKENI—We do not agree with the set date

Malawi Congress of Trade Union (MCTU) has vowed to take to task the Ministry of Labour, Skills and Innovations for what they describe as ‘daylight robbery’ in implementing the new minimum wage early next year than applying from July.

During presentation of the 2019/20 National Budget, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Joseph Mwanamvekha, announced that the minimum wage had been increased to K35,000 per month from K25,000, translating into K1,346 per day from K962 per day.

A gazette supplement that Business Times has seen shows that the amendments made to the employment Act in regard to the minimum wage will be implemented on January 1, 2020.


“This order may be cited as Employment Act [Minimum wages amendment] Order, 2019 and shall come into operation on 1st January 2020.

“The Employment [minimum wages] order is amended in subparagraph 2(a) by deleting the words ‘K962.00’ and substituting therefore the words ‘K1,346.16’,” reads the supplement in part.

In an interview, MCTU General Secretary, Dennis Kalekeni, said they have seen the gazette and they will write the Ministry to express their disappointment on the effective date for the new minimum wage.


“The minimum wage under discussion was being tabled in Parliament during the budget session of 2019/20 financial year and the fiscal year began in July 2019 so it is unfair and completelyday light robbery to the workers to implement this minimum wage [hike] on a date that is in the middle of the year, it means the other five months have been stolen from the workers.

“Initially, we were engaged in consultations to come to terms on the minimum wage amount and instead of consulting again on the implementation date, they have decided to just implement it and as workers we do not agree with the set date,” Kalekeni said.

He added that if the Minister of Labour does not act to their satisfaction, they will declare a dispute and take measures to force the government to apply the amendment retropectively.

In a separate interview, Executive Director of the Employers Consultative Association of Malawi (Ecam), George Khaki, said MCTU is being unreasonable as everything that the Ministry has done was already agreed upon by all the parties.

He emphasised that the decision will further force many companies, especially in the manufacturing sector, to retrench employees.

“We were together when we were negotiating for the minimum wage [rise]. One of the things we agreed upon was that the implementation will be January 1, 2020 and not retrogressively because employers need to plan so the sentiments from MCTU are a turnaround from what was agreed by all parties. This was not budgeted for so we need to give employers time to plan.

“It is a law and our members will comply but this will have dire consequences if we consider the current business environment and many of the company’s especially in manufacturing and agriculture have indicated that they are going to retrench,” Khaki said.

Minister of Labour, Skills and Innovations, Martha Mhone, was not immediately available for comment.

Facebook Notice for EU! You need to login to view and post FB Comments!
Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker