Malawi Shoprite workers strike over racist taunts

BLANTYRE – Staff at Sho­prite, a South African re­tail chain shop, operating in Malawi’s commercial capital city of Blantyre downed tools on Monday demanding better working conditions and protest­ing against racist remarks made by management against local workers. The Malawi Shoprite Workers Union demand­ed that ‘white’ managers change their attitude to­wards local employees and stop calling them ‘kafirs’, ‘monkeys’ and other racist names.

The Union chairperson Lawrence Dzumani said apart from name-calling the union was against the idea of upgrading casual labourers to ‘part time employees’ after working for many ears. He said the proposal would compromise the number of years the work­ers had worked with the retail shop. It took take the inter­vention of the Minister of Labour Yunus Mussa to bring the workers back to work. The Minister also asked management to change its attitude towards employees.

“It is actually against the country’s laws to employ someone on a temporary basis for over a year,” he said. 

October 2009
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