President Prof. Peter Mutharika Thursday threatened to deport any foreign employer who would utter any discriminatory remarks or treat Malawians with no respect at work place or anywhere in the country.
Mutharika made the remarks at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe when a delegation of the Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU) paid him courtesy call to introduce the Union’s new office bearers since December 2016.
The president made reference to some alleged racist remarks made recently by a foreign employer up north which the Malawi leader described as unfortunate and disrespectful.
“Any foreign employer who mistreats Malawians in any way will be sent out of this country, as long as I am President of the country,” cautioned Mutharika. “We need to respect each other if we are to live in harmony.”
Recently the media reported about the deportation of 46-year-old German national, Hinteregger Jurgen, Manager for a construction firm, Strabag International, for allegedly calling a water tanker driver at a site in Nkhata Bay “a monkey” due to the driver’s reported poor driving.
On labour issues, President Mutharika said he believed that the country would develop without labour and that his government would always prioritize labour.
“As a young man I worked as Assistant Agriculture Instructor at Matapwata in Thyolo and I later worked as Personal Assistant to Late Willie Chokani at the Ministry of Labour so I’m not new to labour issues,” said Mutharika.
He urged the MCTU delegation to always strive to settle disputes amicably stressing that “when we stop working, we stop producing”.
In his remarks, MCTU President, Luther Mambala, said the Union regards government as a partner and that it would always seek better ways of promoting the partnership.
Mambala concurred with the president that there were increasing discrimination complaints from the Union’s members employed by foreigners.
“Most of the complaints we get from our members border on discrimination and lack of respect from foreign employers especially Indians and Chinese,” explained Mambala.
He called upon the president to intervene by instructing the Ministry of labour to ensure that every work place has a workers’ union to be looking into such matters.
The Union’s delegation also said there was need for a tripartite meeting with the labour ministry and employers to adjust the per-month MK19,000 minimum wage upwards to meet the demands of the current economy.
The MCTU six-member delegation also officially invited President Mutharika to the 2017 Labour Day Commemoration to be held at Chichiri Upper Ground in Blantyre on May 1 under the theme “Enhancing Skills Development for Job Creation and Employability in the Work Place.”
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