Lilongwe, March 7: Principal Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Labour, James Kalilangwe on Wednesday asked Public Service International (PSI) officials to train Labour Officers on capacity building.
Kalilangwe made the call at a meeting held at the Labour Offices in Lilongwe, PSI and the four affiliates organized the meeting as a way of finding lasting solutions to problems between employer and employees.
“We ask you to help train labour officers in capacity building so that the capacities for the officers are improved. Most labour officers fail to perform their duties because there are not well trained,” said Kalilangwe.
He further said evidence has also shown that there are capacity gaps in trade unions which also cause disagreements.
“We have had a number of strikes and threaten strikes in the country, but most of these strikes were illegal and could have been avoided if the trade unions and the employers had a social dialogue,” explained Kalilangwe.
The PS said as a ministry they are trying to resolve conflicts that arise from employers and employees if their issues are brought to the Ministry’s attention.
Kalilangwe added that some issues arise because people are not aware of the laws and when they are brought to the Ministry’s attention they are easily resolved.
“I would like to ask the trade unions and employees to come and seek advice from Labour Officials before they stage on their strikes,” asked Kalilangwe.
PSI Sub-Region Secretary for Southern Africa, Thembi Mngomezulu said Government and Trade Unions have all the answers to the problems.
“We would like to expose them to think globally and apply to what is happening in the country. That is why am here to listen to both Trade Unions and Labour Officials so that I know what is happening in Malawi,” explained Mngomezulu.
Mngomezulu added, “We will look at what kind of support and training does the country need especially the Trade Unions.”
She encouraged Malawians to engage themselves in social dialogue when there are misunderstandings.
Mngomezulu said her organization is looking for a sound labour relation between the Trade Union and employers and also protect human rights and Trade Union rights.
National Organization of Nurses and Midwives of Malawi (NONM) Information and Advocacy Manager, Benson Phiri Said people should know that people in the essential services have their wants and needs.
“We also have enabling public opinion and public servants enjoy work and human rights,” said Phiri.
He said Malawi as a county encourages public sectors to enjoy their rights as all workers.
PSI advocates solidarity for a collective voice of public workers and it has a membership of 20 million people in 150 countries across the world.
There are four affiliates in the country, Civil Service Trade Union, Malawi Municipal Workers Union, Malawi Organization of Nurses and Midwives of Malawi (NONM) and Water Employees Trade Union of Malawi (WETUM).