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Players’ union pushes for minimum wage

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Ernest Mangani

Football Players Union (FPU) has taken steps to improve footballers’ welfare by engaging Super League of Malawi (Sulom) and Football Association of Malawi (Fam) on a collective bargaining agreement aimed at enforcing minimum wages.

The union’s general secretary Ernest Mangani said it was sad to note that stakeholders in the game were manipulating labour laws.

“There are some football clubs in the country that are taking advantage of our players’ ignorance. They draft contracts for our players in a very clever manner, leaving the players miserable and poor. We have teams that are paying players way below the government minimum wage of K50,000 per month. We have therefore engaged both Sulom and Fam in discussions on the matter.

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“We are working towards standardising contract agreements in all Super League teams. We are also negotiating a win-win situation in terms of image rights for the players. It is disappointing to learn that there are teams in the country that give players contracts on image rights but they end up getting nothing. We are fight to make sure that players get whatever they deserve,” Mangani said.

Sulom General Secretary Williams Banda acknowledged FPU’s efforts on the matter.

“The reality on the ground is that teams in our league are facing financial constraints. We need to bear this in mind as we push for some of these conditions. But we have not yet received any communication on the matter from the union.

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“We are also mindful of the general economic challenges that almost all economies across the world are facing. This has also affected our clubs adversely. But we will see how best we can address the matter if it comes to our attention,” Banda said.

Tigers Technical Director and the team’s part financier Robin Alufandika said running a Super League team was tough.

“Businesses are not performing well all over the world because of Covid. Mobility has been reduced, with most people working from home. Some are even working for fewer hours than before.

“So where does one get the money to take care of such demands? We are struggling and there is no money. We do not even know if at all we can manage to recover,” Alufandika said.

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