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Strike threatens Lilongwe sanitation

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Dust is refusing to settle at Lilongwe City Council (LCC) as the industrial strike involving workers has entered the second week, thereby threatening sanitation of the capital.

The strike has crippled many of the council’s operations, including waste management, putting the city at a health risk amid cholera outbreak in the country.

The workers, who include cleaners, system operators and shop stewards, are demanding 20 percent hike and salary arrears. The strike started last week on Tuesday.

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Monday, the workers continued blocking the council’s offices with branches of trees while chanting songs against failure by authorities to settle the pay dispute.

Chairperson of shop stewards, Wyson James, said council management promised a pay hike from January this year.

“We were told that the management wrote the letter to Local Government Ministry. The letter came but it did not show that the hike will be from July last year, but from January this year. So since then people have been demanding arrears,” he said.

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James said the workers have engaged the office of the city’s Mayor to intervene on the matter.

LLC Chief Executive Officer, John Chome, asked for more time as he was in a meeting.

The council’s spokesperson, Tamara Chafunya, also said she was in a management meeting and would revert once management has a position on the matter.

A visit around the city confirmed issues of poor hygiene and sanitation evidenced by heaps of waste piling in major markets of the city.

One of the business persons, Mark Samuel asked the council to resolve the conflict as soon as possible lest the city will be exposed to cholera.

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