Hotels Food Processing and Catering Workers Union (HFPCWU) which recently embarked on a project to train all its affiliates on Rank and filing says all is going well and in all the trainings they have conducted so far the participants have been responding in a positive way hence expecting positive results in their different working places.
On November 30, 2013 Hotels Union trained shop stewards from Bakelands Bakery who at the end of the training admitted that they had no knowledge of the issues they learnt despite being leaders of their fellow workers.
At least 13 shop stewards benefited from the training which was conducted at Hotels Union offices in Blantyre the commercial city of Malawi.
Hotels Union trainer Rashid Majawa disclosed that most employees including the shop stewards did not undergo a training on rank and filing soon after joining the union.
He further said when some of them were elected as shop stewards they still did not undergo trainings on the same hence resulting into ignorance on issues concerning them and the people they represent.
“A lot of people have joined the union and some are being appointed to hold positions in their respective work places but we have observed that most of them are becoming leaders without the knowledge of what the union is and do not even know their rights because they are not conversant to labour laws,” confessed Majawa.
He also said that, the trainings are helping shop stewards realize their potential and equip them on their rights and how to approach things in a proper way as well as the skill to interact with their employers since Rank and Filing is a special training where they impart knowledge to shop stewards on important issues concerning the well-being of workers.
Rank and filing contains important topics such as; Introduction of Trade Union and the benefits on the part of employer and employee, Grievance Handling, Roles of Shop stewards and Labour Laws.
Majawa also observed that such branch meetings are beneficial because participants are always open to discuss problems faced at their institution because they have a sense that they are one since they come from the same company.
Another Hotels Union trainer Eunice Chitwanga agreed with Majawa “These trainings are important we are targeting to reach out to all our affiliates because they really need the trainings.”
One of the participants Scovier Hardwork expressed gratitude to the management of Hotels Union for organizing such training which he said will benefit him and all the workers at his workplace.
Hardwork then assured the management of hotels Union that whatever he learnt he will put it into use and he will always be conscious to approach things based on labour laws.
So far, shop stewards from five branches namely Suncrest Creameries, Olympic Bakery, Lake Land and Transglobe have benefited from the project.