Govt commits itself to address workers ‘plight
Hundreds workers in Kitwe today joined the rest of the workers worldwide in celebrating the International Labour day.
And government has called on workers to be productive.
Education minister John Phiri who graced the occasion said the Patriotic Front- PF government is committed to addressing the plight of the workers and that it is still committed to its promise of putting more money in people’s pockets.
Dr. Phiri also called on the trade unionists and employers in the country not to misleading government in its bid to identify solutions that can effectively address workers’ problems.
He said government will ensure that workers’ rights are respected and that workers are not abused or exploited by employers.
The minister further castigated employers who are taking advantage of the high unemployment levels in the country by abusing and exploit workers.
He also urged workers to improve on their work culture and to refrain from negative vices such as absenteeism, late reporting for work and corruption among other several negative vices.
He also assured the workers that government is currently reviewing the minimum wage for workers in the informal sector.
And Kitwe District Commissioner Ellias Kamanga urged the workers in the country to realize that it is only when workers and government unite that there would be meaningful national development.
Mr. Kamanga noted that there are a lot of labour matters that need to be addressed in various corporate companies.
He however observed that the PF government attaches great importance to labour matters and expressed optimism that the PF government will adequately address the numerous labour related problems currently going on in the country.
And Zambia Congress of Trade Unions representative Cosmas Mukuka observed that although Zambia has ratified major International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions promoting the fundamental principles and rights at work, a large number of Zambian workers have not benefited from the protection and entitlements that these Conventions offer.
Mr. Mukuka said Zambian workers are highly abused in their places of work as if there are no labour laws in place.
He called on government to strengthen the rights of workers both in the informal and the formal sectors so that workers can be protect from unnecessary abuse and be motivated in a bid to raise production so that the country can continue to score significant economic and social development.
He further observed that there is need to ensure that workers are aware of their rights at work so that they are not subjected to abuse and injustices by employers.
The Union Leader also called on government to put up policies that will enhance investment thereby resulting in job creation.
And Federation of Free Trade Unions representative Lyson Mando appealed to government to strengthen labour laws that protect workers in events of corporate failures, mergers and Acquisitions that result in workers’ redundancies.
Mr. Mando also urged government to curb the problem of corporate greedy, a tendency where employers pay their managers exorbitant bonuses and salaries when other workers get low salaries.
This year’s labour day was celebrated under the theme “Enhancing Workers Rights for Sustainable National Development”.