ECAM, MCTU sign MOU on bipartite social dialogue

ECAM and MCTU have agreed on labour and employment issues

As one way of improving working conditions in the country, Employers Consultative Association (ECAM) has signed an MOU with Malawi Congress of Trade Union (MCTU) on bipartite social dialogue.

The MOU is going to explore possibilities to agree on social and economic issues between the two.

Speaking after the signing ceremony, President of ECAM Annie Chavula said they want to be working together with MCTU to strengthen their relationship for the benefit of he two organisations

“We want to be communicating between us and even for anything we need to be consulting each other. Secondly, we have agreed on bargaining and negotiations. So in case of minimum wage, we will be negotiating to avoid strikes and industrial actions. We have also agreed on dispute resolution so that if there are disputes we should be able to sit and resolve our differences together,” said Chavula.

Chavula noted that previously workers would just go on strike and this would disrupt operations, affecting productivity.

“So we want to avoid that, we want to be discussing and consulting each other before we come to that point, we want to avoid those strikes,” said Chavula.

In his remarks, President of MCTU Charles Kumchenga said the aim of the MOU is to make sure their working relationship with ECAM is strengthened and they want to make sure that whenever they are meeting on negotiations they should have at least a common stand.

“Some of the issues in the MOU are minimum wage, protection at the work place and we are also including retrenchment and many other issues which are affecting the workers as well as employers,” said Kumchenga.

On the issue of minimum wage, you understand that at the moment the minimum wage is at K50,000 and jointly ECAM and MCTU we are crying for 100,000 kwacha as a minimum wage. So if we are to reach that end definitely we are going to have a better working condition in the country,”.

Speaking on behalf of Government, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Labour Wezi Kayira said the MOU is very important as to strengthen the collaboration and cooperation between workers and employers.

“What will also happen is that once MCTU and ECAM have agreed on any issue or any matter it will be very easy for the two to come to Government since they already have a position on a particular issue and then they are dealing with government. Government will look at them as two brothers who are working together so this is very important it’s very historic for our labour sector in Malawi,” said Kayira.