Employees at Mary’s Meals in the country have declared an immediate industrial action over salary increment and have communicated to management about their sit-in through a letter dated April 22 2016.
The strike would put the largest school feeding programme on the ice as the organisation’s staff that manage, deliver and monitor the programme press for a 150 percent salary increment, according to the letter seen by Nation on Sunday.
The organisation’s country director Chris MacLullich declined to comment on the matter yesterday, insisting the matter was internal.
The employees, in the letter to the country director, with copies to head of programmes in Eastern Africa, among others, said an agreement was entered among the employees to start the industrial action immediately.
“This has [been] arrived [at] looking at unsatisfactory responses we have been receiving since last year on the same. We demand a minimum of 150 percent pay increase,” reads the letter in part.
The employees say they would only return to normal duties once the issue is satisfactorily addressed.
Mary’s Meals works in 12 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, according to information sourced from its website.
Mary’s Meals in Malawi, the website informs, reachs out to 25 percent of all primary schools across the country, feeding about 814 000 children.
Mary’s Meals Malawi operates out of Blantyre and now has about 70 employees, according to the website.
Mary’s Meals began in Malawi in 2002 when its founder, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, met a 14-year-old boy who told him: “I want to have enough food to eat and to be able to go to school one day,” the website reveals.
It is a registered charity, formerly known as Scottish International Relief (SIR), which sets up school feeding projects in some of the world’s poorest communities, where hunger and poverty prevent children from gaining an education.
The organisation provides maize and soya porridge locally referred to as Likuni Phala, fortified with essential vitamins and minerals. Community volunteers help in preparing the food for the school children. n