LABOUR and Social Security Minister Fackson Shamenda has told the United Party for National Development (UPND) not to politicise labour matters ahead of labour day celebrations.
Mr Shamenda said as a minister he has engaged with the trade unions on different issues and that he represents the workers and government.
Mr Shamenda was responding to the UPND’s call for workers to boycott next week’s labour day over the wage and employment freeze.
But Mr Shamenda has defended the government and revealed that cabinet yesterday deliberated on labour matters.
“Yesterday in the cabinet meeting we discussed labour matters and soon we will engage the labour movement on different issues,” he said.
Mr Shamenda added that people should not be misled by the UPND on labour matters because the PF government was looking at different issues that affect the labour sector.
The UPND through their chairperson for labour Percy Chanda has called on workers to boycott this year’s Labour Day celebrations next week.
“As UPND we urge all workers to boycott this year’s Labour Day celebrations and instead deliver the message to Government that change is needed,” Mr Chanda said.
He added that by boycotting this year’s Labour Day celebration workers will be sending a very strong message that they are not happy about the wage freeze, the employment freeze and the continual reversal of position regarding the retirement age.
“As UPND we are committed to strengthening the labour laws to protect the Zambian worker from exploitation. You have heard us talk about setting up the Tripartite Consultative Council that has now been created but implemented in the most chaotic fashion and without the proper political commitment,” he said.
“When the UPND is elected into Government we will drive the Council forward until it becomes a cornerstone for good industrial relations, boosting our economy and GDP, and helping us to break away from careless borrowing and the sale of our future.”