By Glory Msowoya
Blantyre, September 14, Mana: Employees for Malawi Council for the Handicapped (MACOHA) Bangwe Weaving Factory in Blantyre are staging a sit in, demanding a ‘promised’ 12 percent salary increment.
According to one of the employees at the weaving factory, who sought for anonymity, the move is a result of the Council’s failure to follow government’s direction on the 12 percent salary increment.
“We are escalating our campaign for better salaries. As employees for MACOHA, we are singing a song of better salaries for all of us. As such we are not returning to work until responsible authorities address our grievances,” she said.
She added 90 percent of employees at the factory are persons with disabilities, with some receiving as low as K50 000 per month which she said was not enough to meet their needs.
“Our fear is that if we let go this time, it will take us years to be considered but we are saying enough is enough because those in the offices are getting a lot of money than us. We are calling for management to consider us with the increment,” she said
Reacting to the development, MACOHA Spokesperson Harriet Kachimanga said the Council is lobbying government for an increase in allocation of funding during the budget review in December which will help in implementing the 12 percent salary increment.
“MACOHA gets funding from government. Salaries for all its units including Bangwe Factory are disbursed from the same funding. As it is now, management has had a discussion with the factory staff telling them that the increment and notch cannot be effected now because funding from the government has not increased.
“The communication made by the government on increment clearly states that those parastatals that have capacity to effect increment can do so. As put, MACOHA’s funding does not necessitate that because the 2021 budget does not have extra funds,” Kachimanga said.
MACOHA was established by an Act of Parliament, the handicapped persons Act of 1971 Cap.33:02 as a statutory corporation with a goal to facilitate empowerment of people with disabilities to enable them to actively participate and be included in social and economic development.