MBC employees who were dismissed following the July 2010 MBC/TVM merger received pensions they have been protesting for since July this year.
The former employees, who got their pension minus bonuses and interests on Wednesday, have since in a letter to President Joyce Banda and copied to other stakeholders, expressed dissatisfaction with the way government handled their matter.
The employees, among others, question the contradictory messages government was giving the time they were fighting for their dues.
According to the employeesâ€™ spokesperson, Richard Bande, the pension delayed because MBC stopped remitting the employeesâ€™ pension contributions to Old Mutual, their pension trustee, something they claim has led to their getting “less than they deserved.”
Said Bande: “MBC management had stopped remitting the pension contribution to Old Mutual since 2004 for radio employees and for TVM; the period for non-remittance was from 2010.
“And now, it gave the whole money to Old Mutual just this September resulting in no interests gained on the money which could have gained more interests had it been given to the pension trustee on a monthly basis as it is supposed to be.”
Adds the letter dated October 25 to Banda: “The benefits we have received have greatly been affected because according to statements issued by Old Mutual, since January 2009, Old Mutualâ€™s bonus rates have been below 14 percent, reaching all time low in 2011 at 7.5 percent.
“This means that those who had joined MBC/TVM from 2009 are as good as going home with the accumulated individual and corporate contributions only, without the much-needed bonuses. This implies that quite a good number of us are going home with funds below K100 000 (about $333), particularly when we consider that MBC [Radio] salaries were so pathetic prior to the merger and are the ones the pension contributions and calculations were based on.”
A letter to MBC on July 16 2012 from Secretary to the Treasury and signed by Goodluck Chaphulika, asked MBC to pay the retrenched workers salaries from their 2012/2013 Budget Provision until the issue was conclusively resolved.
In their letter, the employees want the President to intervene into to their matter to enable MBC to pay them salaries from July to October.
According to Bande, the retrenched staff have been told to forget about their three-month salaries since their management received a letter from government through the principal secretary in the Public Sector Reform and Management (Rationalisation) Unit that they should no longer be paid their salaries following a ruling by judge Healey Potani that the workers should take the matter to Industrial Relations Court.
The letter, which was copied to the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC), Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director, the Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU) and Public Affairs Committee (PAC), was signed by the retrenched workers president Augustine Lubani and executive members.