Escom workers protest against 10% pay increase, demand 44%

Malawi Electricity workers protesting against low salaries

Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) are demanding a 44 percent pay increase, saying the 10 percent salary hike the company has implemented is unrealistic following the 44 percent devaluation of the Malawi Kwacha.

Workers of the electricity supplier have stormed the company’s offices in Blantyre and Lilongwe, disrupting businesses on the streets and in the Escom offices.

In Lilongwe, workers loaded in Escom lorries and carrying tree branches were captured on their way to Escom offices at Game complex while chanting songs demanding pay increase.

In Blantyre, Escom employees were also loaded in a fleet of company cars this morning as they blocked Blantyre’s Victoria Avenue on their way to deliver a petition to the company’s senior management.

Speaking to the local media, the workers say they have been given a 10 percent pay increase, which they feel is unrealistic and unreasonable.

According to the employees who are under Escom workers union, they have given management 14 days to implement the 44 percent salary increment, failing which they will take unspecified action.

Meanwhile, Escom director of human resources and administration Crispin Banda has told the local media that the company will discuss the demand and provide a response.

The Malawi Kwacha was devalued by 44 percent last month and in reaction, Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) raised electricity tariffs by over 40 percent. However, the increase was reversed on 4 December after government ordered Mera to put the increase on hold until April, 2024.