Malawian Airline workers will start striking on Monday to force the airline to increase their salaries.
Earlier, the airline obtained an injunction at Industrial Relations Court in Lilongwe stopping the strike but the court order has since been vacated by a lawyer for the workers.
According to the workers, the decision to hold the industrial action has been taken because of failure to resolve the issue during conciliation meetings.
“Workers stand by the decision to go on strike until such a time that this demand will be met.
“Workers firmly believe that the cause is truly an important one and hope that this is cleared up soon so that workers may begin working even more efficiently for the company,” says a letter dated December 2 addressed to the Ministry of Labour and signed by Ronald Mbewe, General Secretary of the Transport and General Workers Association.
Following the notice, Malawian Airlines obtained an injunction stopping the strike but the workers through their lawyer Wapona Kita have managed to vacate the injunction.
Kita in his application to remove the court, said the workers have met requirements in accordance with the Labour Relations Act to proceed with the strike.
He added that the airline took to court evidence that it is fully booked for December, 2019 and January, 2020 meaning that it is operating at its maximum and is making maximum profits that it ought to make and can manage to make.
“The Applicant is poised to make revenue amounting to K1,933,813,756.00 just for the months of December, 2019 and January, 2020. This evidence shows that financially the company is doing very well and it is as a result of the Respondent’s members working for it. There is no any contrary evidence that it is in financial despair for it not to consider the applicant’s demand to review and adjust their salary structure,” said Kita.
He also argued that Malawians had failed to show how the scheduled strike is a threat to any life, health or safety of an individuals other than it seeing its profits minimized which is normally what a strike is intended to achieve.
According to Kita, on all the international routes that the airline is operating, there are other airlines such as South African Airways, Kenyan Airways and Ethiopian Airways which can carry Malawian Airlines’ booked customers while for the domestic routes, there are other modes of transport that its passengers can resort to whilst the strike is in place.