Some Blantyre City Council (BCC) junior staff members yesterday staged a sit-in to force management to give them a 150 percent salary increase and address some challenges they are facing.
The workers, mostly at the council’s engineering department at Ginnery Corner, said they also want an increment following the council’s proposal for a similar increment for councillors.
But BCC spokesperson Anthony Kasunda attributed the situation to miscommunication between the workers and their trade union.
He said: “In terms of vehicles and 150 percent increase, that is not a final decision. That’s a proposal from the council.
“They have a right to propose what they want. But for a decision to increase or to buy vehicles, it will be made by government.”
Kasunda said approval for such decisions go through stages such as Local Government Finance Committee and Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Developmemt.
During a visit to BCC engineering offices around 9:30am, workers were seen outside the premises with about 15 police officers stationed at the gates.
One of the workers, who opted for anonymity, alleged that the council does not consider low-paid workers who take home as low as K52 000 and have no benefits.
“This is sad because the cost of living has gone up and we are struggling to make ends meet. Even when we have problems such as funerals, the council does not do much to help,” he said.
However, the trade union’s chairperson George Kambeta refused to comment.