Giant alcoholic beverages producer Castel Malawi has responded to the recent 44% devaluation of the kwacha by offering its employees the 15% on the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (Cola) and a once-off shopping voucher worth K150,000 for its 620 strong workforce effective 1 December 2023.
In an internal memorandum circulated to all staff members dated 21 November 2023 signed by Human Resources and Corporate Affairs Director Gloria Zimba indicates that management has decided to offer the 15% increment across the board.
“I am also pleased to announce a 15% adjustment on the following allowances; car allowance, fuel allowance, travel and accommodation allowances, driver allowances, flexibility allowances and depot lunch allowances.”
“Management also appreciates the economic hardships which its employees are facing due to the devaluation. To help cushion the immediate negative impact, management has decided to give a once-off shopping voucher of K150,000. This voucher will be given to all employees by the first week of December 2023,” reads the memo in part.
Zimba said Castel Malawi trusts that with the interventions, employees will continue to remain resilient, committed and hard working ‘in these turbulent times’.
Castel Malawi Workers Union (Camawu) president Rueben Kapito commended Castel Malawi for its decision to cushion workers from the impact of the devaluation of the kwacha.
In an interview yesterday, Kapito however said they notice the that ‘gap is too huge’ and that they will enter into more negotiations with management on the issue.
“While we applaud management for adjusting the ‘Cola’, we notice that the gap is too huge and we will engage management more on this. But we also understand that we are both living in difficult times. We know that this adjustment is for Cola and we still have to bargain for a salary increment in a month’s time, that is where the consolation comes in,” said Kapito.
Government announced a 44% devaluation of the kwacha two weeks ago to align it with the value of the main trading currency, the United States dollar and the development has seen the rise in prices of goods and services including fuel and food stuff.