The Centre for Social Concern (CfSC) and the Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU) had proposed for the Treasury to increase the minimum wage to K100,000 which was rejected. MCTU and CfSC have complained that the current minimum wage of K35,000 cannot provide for low income households, especially amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
During a joint news conference in Lilongwe last week, the Director of CfSC James Ngahy and MCTU general secretary Dennis Kalekeni said the majority of workers are facing difficult economic challenges to survive. They called on the Treasury to consider increasing the minimum wage to K65,000. “We are urging the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development and members of Parliament to consider increasing the minimum wage to at least K75 000 to enable lowly-paid workers survive two thirds of the month,” he said.
Last year, when the 2019/20 National Budget increased the minimum wage from K25,000 to K35,000 MCTU revealed that it initially proposed an increment of K70,000 which was halved down to K35,000. Kalekeni said the law empowers the minister to consult Employers Consultative Association of Malawi (Ecam) and MCTU, which was done but the minister did not meet the requirements by both firms.