Lilongwe Water Board strike
I read with interest yesterday an article in the newspaper that 5 LWB staff members had been arrested by police for disconnecting water supply to certain parts of Lilongwe during their recent industrial action. While I appreciate that prison is a nasty place to be I think it sends a very powerful message to other like minded selfish individuals. The industrial action had nothing to do with residents of the city and as such there was no need for people to suffer.
last time i checked strikes were legal. actually i’m not sure of the legalities of workers unions and industrial strikes but i think if the service lilongwe water board provide is water supply then a strike = no water supply. so who is being selfish?
Strikes are perfectly legal – no qualms with them. Disconnecting my water for any other reason other than non-payment of my bill is illegal.
We really don’t have to look far for reasons why disconnecting water is potentially fatal. In Harare water was disconnected for some reason or the other. It contributed to the spread of cholera. Malawi is not immune from cholera and cases have been reported including deaths. People were drawing water from unprotected sources, a recipe for cholera and other diseases. Will the Lilongwe Water Board Trade Union pay my medical and funeral expenses? I don’t think so.
So it’s only right to say they were downright selfish. If anyone today can link the disconnection to a case of cholera or death they could/should be charged with criminal negligence and causing death.
The lack of a power consumer body in Malawi has made us think we can get substandard service and still smile. LWB Trade Union acted like a bunch selfish 5 year old babies, period!
From a humanitarian point Austin you may be right, however Acacia has a point mooted in contractual reality, a strike sanctioned by trade unions is meant to have an effect otherwise how else would it have the effect it is meant to have, the aspect of taking a scheduled strike is to ensure the employer puts in place measures or a basic structure to keep things going as it were for the length of the strike. Also the issue of vicarious liability lies with the Employer, so it must be LWB at fault, the employees actions may be criminal and will best be judged by the courts.LWB was ill-prepared.