Carlsberg, Sobo brewery Trade Union (CASOTU) has pleaded with Hotels Food Processing and Catering Workers Union (HFPCWU) to meet with their management so they should address some of the challenges they are facing at their workplace.
The employees gave their request during a two day workshop which was organized by HFPCWU and was conducted at Grace Bandawe in Malawi’s commercial city of Blantyre.
According to the workers among other challenges they would like to be addressed by their employers is the issue of casual laborers.
On this issue they said that there are a number of employees who has been working with the company for some years but are still regarded as casual workers despite that they report for duty just like those on full time job which is against labour laws.
“We wonder how one can report for duty almost each and every day and being regarded as a casual worker. We would like the management to look into this issue and the HFPCWU is our hope,” said one of the participants.
They also said those people work in the hazardous environment without putting on healthy safety garments and when the labour officials pay them a visit the management give them the garments so that the labour officials should not put them to task.
Another issue which was raised was of the annual holiday. They said that they go for unpaid holiday despite that annual holiday are supposed to be paid for as stipulated in labour laws.
In response to the queries, HFPCWU General Secretary, Shakespeare Sesani assured them that he will try his best to talk to their employers on the issue of casual labourers.
He however, said that the other issues will be left until the company’s lawyer has started his duties.
The GS’s response comes on the background that the management of Carlsberg said they could not talk with the officials from HFPCWU citing that they were not well versed with other issues to do with workers and the unions hence a need for a legal expert to deal with the union.
Sesani assured them that since the company has fulfilled its promise to employ a lawyer the talks will take place as soon as possible just when the lawyer is settled.
CASOTU used to be an in-house union until last year when they signed a working agreement with HFPCWU.
During this training there were other shop-stewards from different affiliates of HFPCWU apart from CASOTU members.
Among other topics they were tackled was about labour laws which was facilitated by the Senior Labour Officer Frank Adini, Bargaining by the GS, The role of the shop-stewards by HFPCWU president Harvey Chingondo and the Trade Union by Zione Pakulamtanda the Chairlady for women’s desk.