Malawi Congress of Trade Union (MCTU) on Friday asked government to respect labour rights at all levels.
MCTU president Luther Mambala, speaking in Malawiâ€™s commercial city, Blantyre, where the union was holding its 5th congress, said workers deserve respect because they largely contribute to economic development.
Labour Minister Eunice Makangala and her Principal Secretary James Kalirangwe graced the occasion.
Mambala complained that his body was not consulted on the Malawi Economic Recovery Plan (Merp), arguing this sent a bad signal from government.
He said the roughly 50 percent devaluation of the kwacha has seriously affected workers, arguing government should have cushioned Malawians from the effects of the devaluation.
Mambala said: â€œWe know it was done out of pressure from donors, but government should have known the effects. The devaluation has brought misery to workers.â€
He urged Makangala to help push the Labour Bill through Parliament.
MCTU, which represents over 300 000 members from all the economic sectors of Malawian society, is expected to elect or re-elect new leaders to steer the workersâ€™ body in the next four years.
The congress, among others, is expected to adopt MCTU strategic plans and discuss how to strengthen the unions.
The theme of the congress is â€˜17 years consolidating working peopleâ€™s lives towards social justice and prosperityâ€™.
Â There are international delegates at the congress.
The elections will be held Saturday.Â