Commercial Drivers Bemoan Low Perks, Get As Low As K20 000/Month (

The Commercial Drivers’ Rehabilitation Consultative Council-CDRCC has pleaded with employers and other relevant authorities to improve their perks and other working conditions which they describe as not only pathetic, but also unsustainable.
Improving their welfare, they say, will help to sustain the industry which remains the only reliable transportation mode for the land locked Malawi.
CDRCC Chief Executive Officer Phillip Phiri made the plea recently during an interface meeting with Road Transport Operators Association in Blantyre.
Phiri said local and international transporters were paying their workers as low as K20 000 per month, yet same conglomerates were paying fellow drivers within the SADC region over K100 000 in monthly perks.
“It’s sad to see foreign investors taking advantage of Malawians by paying the lowly and yet the same company in countries like Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa is able to pay its employees lots of money in Unites States Dollars,” complained Phiri.
According to Phiri, such conduct has led to certain drivers ending up mishandling their employer’s valuables and other stuffs like tyres and batteries.
“For example, some transporters’ will send their drivers to offload or collect good worthy millions of kwacha and yet the driver goes without or with very little upkeep allowance and how do they expect such a drivers to survive on such a trip, this is not the way to operate a business as in most cases a driver working in such circumstances is never committed,” bemoaned Phiri.
And in his response, President for the Road Transport Operators Association-RTOA Abdul H. Lambat said efforts were being made to improve their working environment.
“We are quite aware of the huge responsibility a driver has when they operate our vehicles amounting to millions of kwacha and we are doing everything possible to improve their working standards,” explained Lambat.
“We are delighted to report that we have government’s commitment in our efforts to better things as currently the minister of Transport has given as room to meet him every 90 days in order to continue deliberating on the suggestions we made to improve the transport in dusty,” he added.
Lambat then called on all stakeholders to partner with government in creating a friendly environment for the sector so that local transporters thrive.
The Commercial Drivers Rehabilitation Consultative Council is an umbrella body for all commercial drivers aimed at lobbying for improved working conditions.
Source: Business