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Workers return to work at Terrastone

By Feston Malekezo:

Terrastone Construction Limited workers, who are constructing Malawi Bureau of Standards’ laboratory complex in Blantyre, resumed work Tuesday after discussions between management and representatives of the workers.

The workers had downed tools on Monday over alleged abuse and low pay.

One of the workers, Aaron Makawa, told The Daily Times that the company’s management has bowed down to some of the workers’ demands which include transferring expatriates perceived to be abusive.

“Management has promised to respond to the other challenges by Monday next week. This includes low pay. You should also understand the fact that we receive per fortnight, we pay tax twice a month. So we want that to be looked into because the pay is just meagre,” he said.

The staff is paid K21, 930 per fortnight. The pay includes K5,355 for overtime and miscellaneous allowances of K2, 640, according to a September payslip which The Daily Times has seen.

Terrastone Human Resources Manager, Mike Khombeya, could not comment on the matter.

The two-year construction project started in 2016 and is expected to provide exporters with internationally accredited testing services, reducing the need for re-testing, re-inspection and re-certification of their goods abroad.

The laboratory is valued at $12.7 million— about K8.87 billion, with the overall implementation framework guided by a Contribution Agreement between the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme.

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