Privately owned passenger transport operator, AXA Coach Service has retrenched 46 employees
Group human resources and training manager, Joyce Phiri, confirmed the development in an interview on Wednesday, citing worse economic situation as the major reason for retrenching the employees.
Initially, AXA had 156 employees and the figure has now gone down to 110.
“Malawi economy is getting bad by the day with no hope of improvement in the near future. In our industry, the period between January and April is [challenging] in terms of revenue generation.
“Therefore, we could not afford to keep all the employees. But still we have plans to re-employ them when the economy improves,” she said.
On allegations that only few AXA buses are running at the moment, Phiri argued that the company took advantage of the lean period to repair some of its buses.
“We customarily take advantage of the lean period to give our buses extensive repair service in preparation for the peak period which starts mid April. We, therefore, keep few buses on the road to match the travelling public demand,” the human resources manager said.
As per labour laws, Phiri said all those affected were paid their one-month notice pay, leave pay for days accrued, salary for days worked and severance allowance for those who have been in employment for 12 months and above.
The news comes barely a month after Paladin Africa Limited (PAL) reduced its workforce by 18 percent.
The company retrenched 138 workers at its Kayelekera Uranium Mine in Karonga largely because of continued plummeting uranium prices from $50 (about K17 000) per lb in June 2012 to $42.25 (about K14 000) currently.
Fifty-seven people also lost their jobs at the Mponela-based Malawi Entrepreneurs Development Institute (Medi) following its merger with the Small Enterprise Development Organisation of Malawi (Sedom), Malawi Entrepreneurs and the Development of Malawi Traders’ Trust (Demat).
When contacted for comment, Transport and General Workers Trade Union (TGWTU) secretary general, Ronald Mbewe, said AXA is not a union member.
He, however, said this is unfortunate as there was no one to represent the retrenched employees on negotiations.