TRUCK DRIVERS NATIONAL STRIKE ILL-TIMED
Human rights campaigner, Undule Mwakasungula describes Professional Drivers Union of Malawi-PRODUM’s plan of downing tools from tommorow over alleged government’s failure to address their grievances, as ill-timed.
“This is ill-timed in view that the current fuel crisis has affected the economy It has put the country at a stand still and affected many operations of government, private sector and the general livelihood of Malawians,” says Mwakasungula.
Mwakasungula argues the PRODUM move is more like contributing to sabotaging the national economy which is already struggling.
He therefore calls for genuine re-engagement between the two sides to reach a compromise on the presented grievances.
In particular, Mwakasungula has asked authorities to come forward to dialogue in sincerity with the union for the sake of Malawians.
“With the current situation, we cannot afford to continue losing innocent lives, lives which could be saved, meaning, referral of patients, who need emergency assistance and treatment, we cannot afford to continue denying millions of Malawians not access basic needs,” adds Mwakasungula.
PRODUM General Secretary, Mphatso Mollen has told us they are going ahead with their planned strike beginning tommorow; saying their series of engagements with government have yielded no results.
Among others, the drivers are pushing for minimum wage increase and enforcement, stopping of police brutality on them and recruitment of foreign drivers.
Government has engaged the truck drivers at least seven times this far but the two sides cannot speak one language still with blame game being the order of the day.
Last year, Information Minister Gospel Kazako described the drivers’ strike as a mere ploy to sabotage government. Then, the country had to deploy Malawi Defence Force soldiers to supply fuel in filling stations following the truck drivers strike.