Thursday, November 12, 2009

Malawi Games Stores workers on strike

By Emmanuel Sobilika

Staff for Malawi branch for one of Africa’s main chain of stores, Game Stores have this Thursday gone on strike demanding better packages and poor working conditions.

The striking workers are also demanding the immediate removal for personnel officer, Henry Kanyandula.

To make management feel the impact of this sit-in, staff decided to stage their demonstration on Thursday, a day Game Stores starts its weekly four day-merchandise promotions.

Customers looking for the much reduced merchandise promoted in Wednesday’s daily papers were surprised to see the shop not open but found junior staff standing outside the shop singing songs of solidarity and holding up placards spelling their demands.

Top management at Game Stores were forced into an impromptu meeting trying to look into the employees demands.

Malawi Digest was not able to speak to Game Stores management as they were attending this meeting.

However, some of the employees interviewed at random indicated that there were three key issues that were on high demand on the strike.

A better take home package, removal of personnel officer Kanyandula and better working conditions like confirmation staff that have overstayed in their positions as temporary employees.

According to our source at Game Stores, the shop has 15 full-time employees and 80 employed on temporary basis.

The source said that most of the temporary employees have been with the organisation for over two year the time Game Stores was opened in Malawi.

On Kanyandula, the employees say that the officer has been ill-treating them and often times blocks them when they want to present their problems to top management which is mainly comprised of expatriates.

They allege, Kanyandula behaves like a foreign when in fact is a Malawian national.

They alleged a temporary employee gets MK2, 000.00 a week translating into MK8, 000.00 a month.

They say that they believe Games Stores pays better packages in other countries but those in Malawi are paid way less because some of the local managers influenced this.

The employees say that efforts by the workers union to have their grievances addressed have hit a blank wall hence the strike.

The strike by Game Stores employees comes barely a month after another strike by employees of another chain of stores, Shoprite.

Both Game Stores and Shoprite are South African companies and share the Chichiri Shopping Mall complex in the commercial city, Blantyre.

The strike by Shoprite employees was quickly resolved after Malawi Labour Minister Yunus Mussa moved in swiftly and brought the two sides to a negotiation table

According to information gathered by Malawi Digest, Game Stores has 88 shops in the whole of Africa and the shops spread in the countries of Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Mauritius, Uganda, Mozambique, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, Malawi and South Africa-Malawi Digest.


  1. if the workers are do not want their boss, the they should chose another one.