The Plantations and Workers Union (PAWU) has urged the Malawi Government to seriously consider ratifying the International Labour Organization (ILO)’s C190 in order to address violence and harassment at the workplace.
In the tea sector, progress has been made in sensitising workers on matters violence, child labour among other. Wilfred Nkhoma prides in the continued collaboration with the Tea Industry to undertake negotiation and jointly agree to a Common Bargaining Agreement.
PAWU, noting that challenges still exist, are calling for the ratification of ILO C190 and recommendation (No. 206), which provide a universal framework for preventing, remedying and eliminating violence and harassment in the world of work, including gender-based violence and harassment.
Speaking in an interview on this year’s World Day for Decent Work, TrustAfrica’s Regional Coordinator, Beatrice Makwenda, commended the Government of Malawi for demonstrating commitment towards creating safer workplaces as evidenced by the various initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of Labour over the years.
Makwenda cited the conducting of occupational safety and health inspections, promoting decent work conditions and implementing social protection measures as some of the measures the government has undertaken to address violence.
She, however, said that it is imperative for Malawi to ratify the convention, stressing that it will help the government as well as industries to achieve a workplace environment that is free from violence and harassment and have a ratified framework of reference
“ILO C190 is the most comprehensive and progressive global instrument that addresses violence in the workplace using an inclusive, integrated, and gender-responsive approach.
“Thus, Malawi will build and strengthen its domestic laws and policies around workplace harassment and violence based on a comprehensive framework that is globally recognized,” she said.
Makwenda further stated that by ratifying the convention, Malawi will demonstrate its commitment to promoting decent work, protecting the rights of workers.
“It also shows that the country recognizes the importance of addressing violence and harassment in the workplace, and is willing to work with the international community to address this issue.”
WDWD is observed annually on October 7 with the aim of celebrating the world of work and promoting the rights and interests of workers. This year, key messages for the event focus on the need for governments to ensure fair and living wages for all workers, addressing wage gaps and gender disparities, improving health and safety standards.
They also stress the need for the government to enhance working conditions, including access to clean water, sanitation facilities, and adequate rest areas, address issues related to long working hours, overtime, and work-life balance.
On gender equality and women empowerment, the organizations are calling for the promotion of equal opportunities and elimination of gender-based discrimination at the workplace.