May Day: 'Thousands of workers lose jobs due to COVID-19'

Labour Day

May 1 is Labour Day also known as May Day. It's used to commemorate labour struggles against workers’ rights violations, including lengthy workdays and weeks, poor conditions and child labour.

For the labour movement in Malawi, the struggle for decent employment continues under this year's theme: 'Decent work key to economic recovery amid COVID-19 pandemic’.

But the Employers Consultative Association of Malawi (ECAM) says decent work challenges continue amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to ECAM Executive Director George Khaki due to the COVID-19 pandemic employers have experienced low revenues and others have completely shut down.

“As a result of what employers have experienced amid the pandemic,  over 680,000 workers have lost their jobs and there have been reductions in pay. This has also affected the workers so much.

“Other work deficits include, increase in child labor and gender based violence which is trending right now,” he said.

Khaki-Ecam
Khaki: Employers have experienced low revenues

Amid all the doom and gloom, there have been some positives towards recovery.

“The increase in tax free payee band payee to K100,000 and extended social protection programmes (cash transfers) are good measures by government to induce recovery.

“However, the tax regimes in the county are also heavy that make the goods more expensive for Malawians and therefore depressing demand. We encourage social dialogue with the government so that we find solutions to our present challenges,” added Khofi.

The Labour day celebrations will culminate into a meeting with Malawi's President, Lazarus Chakwera head of the biggest employer, the Government at Kamuzu Sanjika Palace in Lilongwe under the  ‘Decent work key to economic recovery amid  the COVID-19 pandemic’ theme.