2 – Repeated violations of rights
The ITUC Global Rights Index

Malawi

The ITUC affiliate in Malawi is the Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU).

In practice

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Mimosa Court Hotel owned by the Minister of...14-06-2013

The Mimosa Court Hotel owned by the Minister of Agriculture, Peter Mwanza, dismissed 21 workers for having demanded a wage increase. Moreover, workers complained that the hotel does not pay overtime even though many workers work 11 hour shifts per day. The workers had made their demands known to management in writing on 25 May 2013 and threatened to use strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
action, if their demands were not met.

Unions ignored31-12-2011

Trade unions are not included in the committees set up by the government to comment on social and economic issues. Union membership is low and many workers, notably those in the lucrative tobacco industry, are illiterate and are not aware that they have rights. The MCTI was included however in the UN-facilitated dialogue set up after the July protests.

No collective bargaining for informal sector workers31-12-2010

Workers in the informal economy have organised themselves into a union, the Malawi Union for the Informal Sector (MUFIS), and have been affiliated to the Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU). It took over two years to register MUFIS with the Ministry of Labour as they noted that the union had no negotiating partner. The MCTU has, in recent years, reported on a number of cases where workers have been badly mistreated and where employers have appeared unaware that workers have employment rights by law.

Employer resistance31-12-2010

Barely 12% of workers are in formal employment. For the small minority in formal jobs, the resistance of some employers and the government towards respecting their rights, limits freedom of association freedom of association The right to form and join the trade union of one’s choosing as well as the right of unions to operate freely and carry out their activities without undue interference.

See Guide to the ITUC international trade union rights framework
and collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
. Speaking to the press in June 2009 Ronald Mbewe, general secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU), said most employers were reluctant to work with trade unions. His views were echoed by Mary Dzinyemba, general secretary for Commercial Industrial and Allied Workers Union (CIAWU), who said employers preferred to have workers who were ignorant of their rights. Many companies in the export processing zones (EPZ export processing zone A special industrial area in a country where imported materials are processed before being re-exported. Designed to attract mostly foreign investors by offering incentives such as exemptions from certain trade barriers, taxes, business regulations, and/or labour laws. ) also resist union activity, while the unions complain that they have little access to workers in the zones.

Right to strike opposed30-11-2009

Legal ambiguities in the application of the right to strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
are making it very hard to exercise this right. For instance, the law does not specify exactly which services are essential, enabling the authorities to declare strikes illegal. The length of the procedure is also problematic.

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