Secretary for Labour and Manpower Development Patrick Kabambe has said industrial action at water boards is prohibited because they fall into the category of essential services.
Kabambe, speaking at the signing ceremony and launch of collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and Water Employees Trade Union of Malawi (Wetum) strategic plan in Mzuzu on Friday, hopes that strikes which have been synonymous with water boards will be a thing of the past.
“It is sad that most of the strikes were illegal either because the procedure was not followed or because of the manner in which they were carried out such as blocking of the entrance to the offices or threatening fellow workers who do not wish to participate,” he said.
Kabambe said Wetum and its members will have no excuse for not following procedure, which the CBA has clearly stated.
He said the CBA which Wetum revised together with management of the five water boards, apart from promoting industrial peace and harmony, will set out rules of engagement for orderly negotiations before seeking outside interventions.
President of Wetum Siliyana Sanga Nkata said the collective agreement will complement the terms and conditions of employment at the workplace and outline the undertakings of the workers’ union and management of water boards.