MALAWI CONGRESS FOR TRADE UNIONS AND MALAWI UNION FOR INFORMAL SECTOR
http://www.google.mw/url? sa=t&rct=j&q=Malawi+Union+for+the+Informal+Sect or+ (MUFIS)&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CDgQFjAC&url= http%3A%2F%2Ftraining.itcilo.org%2Factrav %2Fcourses%2F2007%2FA1-51619_web%2FJoburg %2520country%2520rep%2520list%2520of %2520partic%2Fcountry%2520reports%2FCountry %2520Report %2520Malawi.doc&ei=y8ZwT_TCF4nOswap0YS3Ag& usg=AFQjCNER4dQngNWAiUqGwobl0G0B20Etbw (accessed March 26 2012)
1. WHO ARE INFORMAL WORKERS? These are workers who are self employed doing their own business in order for them to earn a living; these people are doing their businesses in unprotected and unsecured places. In Malawi there are more workers in the informal economy than formal who are pushed to this sector because of retrenchments, down sizing, right sizing, school leavers, widows and orphans. 1.1 INFORMAL ECONOMY: Very small scale units producing and distributing goods and services, consisting largely independent, self employed producers of the developed countries, some of whom also employ family labour and/or a few hired workers or apprentices; which operate with very little capital or none at all; which utilize low level technology and skills; which therefore operate at low level of productivity; which generally provide very low and irregular incomes and highly unstable employment who work in it. They are informal in the sense they are for the most part unregistered and unrecorded in official statistics; they tend to have little or no access to organized markets, to credit institutions, to formal education and training institutions, or to many public services and amenities; they are not recognized; supported or regulated by the government; they are often compelled by circumstances to operate outside the frame work of law even when they are registered and respect certain aspects of the law they are almost invariably beyond the pale of social protection, labour legislation and protective measures at workplace (ILO 1999) 2. INTRODUCTION Malawi Union for Informal Sector is the organization established to organise, promote, protect, negotiate issues dealing with the rights of informal economy workers and business
including Malawi. the following activities were carried out in line with the following objectives: 1 To organise and build effective Union democratically 2 To protect the rights and interests of members. Globalization and many factors that led to the retrenchments’. Due to structure adjustment programmes in 1980s and 1990s. leadership. This resulted into the formation of The Malawi Union for the Informal Sector in the year 2000. MISSION To organise informal economy traders and alleviate poverty through transformation of informal economy into mainstream and empower informal traders in order to improve their business through training (such as ILO generate your business ideas. Privatisation. One member to non. 6. and bring to an end of harassment and discrimination against informal economy workers (traders) 3. HIV/AIDS. marketers. The hierarchy of the organization is as follows:-
. which meets monthly to look into the union policies and NEC cannot make its own business without being sanctioned by the annual general meeting or congress. which transacts every day’s business. 3 To promote full participation of members in all activities of the Union 4 To promote legislation in the interest of members. ‘lay-offs’ or ‘right-sizing the public service reforms. After the formation of this Union in the stipulated year. artisans. ‘redundancies’. in order to engage in civic education.members VISION Decent standards of living for all Malawians in a stable economy and to transform informal businesses into viable corporate establishments. THE ORGANISATION STRUCTUREs The Union has the secretariat. social. access to credit. gender issues. rights awareness and mutual welfare for the advancement of member’s economic security.trainings. business training. In additional the magnitude of unemployment has affected the school levers that have also joined in the informal economy sector. etc. The workers in this sector include hawkers. 2 The Union and other Unions 3. vendors. The supreme authority is Congress held after every four years. a massive of ex employees have had an exodus into the informal sector just for a living. 5 To raise funds. dialogue with local authorities and relevant organisations on appropriate laws/by laws and policies that give recognition to. 7 To regulate the relations and settle disputes whenever possible and to promote unity between: 1 Members and the general public. cross borders traders. small veranda (khondes) business. The Union has the National Executive Committee (NEC). To negotiate with institutions for empowerment of the members through loans or donations. downsizing have reduced employment and retrenchments of workers in the formal sector in most of the countries in Africa. start your business and improve your business).
Women cross border vending. the Executive Committee then took the initiative to have it registered. To organise and recruit new members in the Northern Regions 2. 4 Follow up was done in the south 5 Women’s committees formed in the Southern and Central Regions 6 Office space available (rental) 7 Some office furniture and equipment bought 8 Participated in SADC social forum in 2006 and WSF-Nairobi in 2007 7. but due to other reasons best known to the Ministry Of Labour and Vocational Training. 3. Train members in business venturing and cross border vending 4. Leadership Training for newly recruited branch officials. 2 Leadership Training for newly recruited leaders from Blantyre and other few districts done. This impromptued a membership dropout leaving a handful of the Union’s faithfuls hence after it’s being registered on 29th June 2004 reorganizing of the Union started from a fresh and that new branches have just been formed in Southern and Central Regions of Malawi. Train members in their rights (business. 5.
. it took so long to come into being registered. Now the membership is very huge. REGISTRATION OF THE UNION Since the Union was born in 2000. HIV/AIDS seminars 7. 8. 5. ACTIVITIES TO BE DONE 1.MUFIS Quadrennial congress Annual general meeting National Executive Committee Women Affairs Committee Regional Committees District Committees Branch Committees MCTU Quadrennial congress General Council National Executive Board Secretariat Regional committees Districts 4. Regular follow up in already existing branches. To participate in SADC and World Social forums. 3 Branches formed in all districts of the Southern and Central Regions. ACTIVITIES DONE The activities done so far are: 1 Organised and recruited new members in the Southern Region and recently in the Central region. human and workers in the informal economy) 6.
The subscription fee is two hundred kwacha (k200. AFFILIATION Malawi Union for Informal Sector is affiliated to Street Net International which is global umbrella body of all people working in the informal economy sector. The Union cherishes the support that partners renders to it in the form of finances. partners meetings and pilot national training of informal economy manual. As for the other source of funding War on Want of United Kingdom and International Federation for Workers Education Association of United Kingdom have been regular partners and the umbrella body Street Net international has funded Exchange visits. hawkers. FUNDING Funding for the union activities is done in two ways: a. travel. Subscriptions b. communication. Recently an Italian local organization called Comitato Internazionale Per Lo Sviluppo Dei Popoli (CISP). Arrange for a Congress 8. has started training our members in business/financial management skills which is a very positive for our organization. CHALLENGES Although MUFIS seems to have continued doing well. it has also a number of challenges and these are some of them: 1. lack of adequate operational area financial constraints lack of enough equipment lack of transport lack of enough financial resources to organize the whole country.9. their research reports while International Federation Workers Education Association is assisting on coordination. lack of informal economy policies by government and local government (Assemblies) laws (outdated bylaws). 6. marketers. 2. lack of legal representation for union and its members. The union is waiting to have a memorandum of understanding between Malawi Congress of trade Unions and it (MUFIS).
. 5.00) per annum which is paid to national headquarters and a monthly contribution of fifty Kwacha paid to branch (K50. 7. War on Want assisted in organizing and leadership seminars and they share with MUFIS. cross borders and any informal traders become members of MUFIS through their branches. 11. 4. intended to be kept at the member’s branch for the purpose of the servicing branch itself. The membership is at 10 000 but potential is estimated at over two million people.00). utilities. Partners 9. where eight members paid an exchange visit to Eastern Cape (Umtata) in South Africa apart from regular educational seminars and workshops. ELIGIBILITY Vendors. trainings and solidarity 10. 3.
lack of full time workers 10. 9. lack of financial empowerment for union members. lack of consultation by government 12. lack of adult education facilities near workplace 15.8. leadership skills. lack of enough resources to conduct more seminars and workshops for the members in business management skills.
WHAT MALAWI CONGRESS OF TRADE UNIONS IS DOING TO ADDRESS INFORMAL ECONOMY MCTU involves MUFIS in their programmes. membership fee collection 16. The informal economy is heavily affected with the pandemic and there is little effort done to reach the members (workers). lack of good markets for members 14. Gender issues which are always taken as women’s issues. etc. representation skills. Child Labour is also on the increase in the country and MUFIS takes a stand on the elimination of child labour. lack of social security fund 13. They allow their organisers to participate in MUFIS activities
Reported by Mrs Rose Malunga and Mwanda Chiwambala
. 12. signing memorandum of understanding with MCTU There are many more challenges than the ones stipulated above and some challenges are within the needs and will come to light as time passes by. CROSS CUTTING ISSUES • MUFIS will deal with a lot of issues that have negative impact on the informal economy: HIV/AIDS is one of the areas that MUFIS will be sensitizing from time to time. 11. human rights.
.MALAWI CONGRESS OF TRADE UNIONS AND MALAWI UNION FOR INFORMAL SECTOR
BRIEF INFORMATION SHEET
Secretariat Malawi Union for Informal Sector Amarsi Adhovji Plaza. Opp. Haile Selassie Road.Box 2618. Blantyre P.O. Nandos.
265 (0) 9942 934 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org