Malawi is already struggling to contain the effects of natural disasters and blocking the roads is tantamount to increasing disaster.
By Malawi Exclusive
Transport Association in Malawi (TAM), has condemned some quarters for organizing a sit in which is aimed at forcing government to fullfill what they agreed during their previous meetings.
Addressing a press conference in Lilongwe on Tuesday, representatives of Transporters Association of Malawi (TAM) , Road Transport Operators Association of Malawi, Women in Logistics and Large Scale Suppliers (WOLLSS) condemned the pending strike saying so far government has fully implemented their demands.
In his remarks, Drivers Association of Malawi President Richard Jubek Phiri said he only heard of the intended strike through the media.
Phiri said Malawi is already struggling to contain the effects of natural disasters and blocking the roads is tantamount to increasing disaster.
TAM representative , Elliot Mussa said his association is not happy with the strike.
“We would like to condemn in strongest terms the intended strike by Professional Drivers Union (PDU) scheduled for the 21st of March 2022. The issues that they are stating to justify the strike are baseless and we wish to inform the public that the following are the facts on the ground. The drivers indeed engaged various ministers and officials in government and resolutions were made. Of these resolutions, most issues directly affecting the drivers have been resolved,” he said.
He said drivers no longer need to take an examination on renewal of their Professional Driver’s License (PrDP).
“All they need to do is take an eye test and pay fees for booking and the card,” he emphasized.
“The truck drivers are currently getting COVID tests free of charge as long as they have a letter from the Truck Drivers Union. In addition to this, the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with NAC organized awareness workshops as well as civic education on how to manage their job during the pandemic. The TDU also received sanitizers, soap and masks to distribute to drivers. Government is currently helping truck drivers to access passports during this period. Once a new service provider for passports have been identified, 48 page passports will be availed to drivers at a concessionary rate.”
On minimum wages, Mussa said government gazetted a minimum wage of K140,000 for international truckers and K100,000 for local drivers who drive 30 tonne trucks.
“There are some transporters not complying with the gazetted rates and the Ministry of Labour is addressing this jointly with the Truck Drivers Union,” he added.
“For these five reasons, we see no justified reason tank drivers to strike. In fact any strike that may take place is malicious and is an attack on the country.”
Women in Logistics and Large Scale Supplies (WOLLSS) President Abigail Dzimadzi said the intended strike is not necessary especially when government has already sorted out issues.
Professional Drivers Union (PDU) has announced the resumption of a nationwide strike from March 21, 2022 allegedly following failure by government to address their grievances.
Meanwhile government has invited the all the Association bodies for a meeting today Tuesday.