THE United Party for National Development (UPND) has called on Zambians to turn up for Labour day celebrations and have their voices heard by what it calls ‘stubborn’ government.
“As Zambians we must make ourselves heard by this stubborn Government during the Workers Day to be celebrated on the 1st of May,” UPND chairperson for labour Percy Chanda said.
He added that this day cannot be business as usual; rather this is a day when workers should air their grievances, make their demands to Government and send a powerful sign that change is needed.
Mr Chanda said that the PF Government is on record as having borrowed heavily, both locally and internationally.
He alleges that much of this money has been carelessly spent and it seems clear that a good chunk of it has ended up in the pockets of the few.
“How else can the Government explain why if the economy is supposedly growing and the Government is borrowing large amounts of money, our workers face wage and employment freezes, and the cost of living is beyond the imagination of most Zambians,” he wondered.
“The result of the careless borrowing and misuse of funds by the PF Government is an insult to the Zambian people who work hard day after day only to have the Government waste money and build up huge debts.”
In statement released in Lusaka today Mr Chanda continued;
“Our workers, and those who are struggling to even find a job, deserve serious answers from Government on this matter.
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.
By boycotting this year’s Labour Day celebration you will be sending a very strong message that you 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.
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.”