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MCTU to storm Parliament

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Vera Kamtukule

Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU) has announced that it will today protest at Parliament Building in Lilongwe against amendments to the Labour Relations Act, which is being discussed in the august House.

MCTU Secretary General Madalitso Njolomole said Tuesday that all affiliates would take part in the protest.

Among other things, the Labour Relations Bill seeks to give powers to employers to deduct money from an employer who goes on strike or absents himself or herself from work without official leave.

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“We have to tell them [parliamentarians] the bad side of amending the [Labour Relations] Act as well as appealing to them to allow the government to give us enough time for consultations. We believe that members of Parliament will consider us,” he said.

Njolomole added that MCTU was disappointed with recommendations that the joint committee of Legal Affairs and Social Welfare had made, to the effect that employees would have three days of striking per year.

“Minimum leave days of an employee are 18 and, as such, we do not know how the Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament came up with the three days. It’s one of the reasons we want consultations,” he said.

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According to committee chairperson Peter Dimba, this was done to strike a balance between employers’ rights and the need for the employer to register economic benefits.

“What we did is to compromise because we also have to respect the rights of the employer,” he said.

Deputy Labour Minister Vera Kamtukule on Friday insisted that “thorough consultations were made” in 2016.

Parliament today continues to deliberate on the bill.

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