PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has warned employers that those found wanting especially by flouting employees’ rights will be dealt with within the confines of the labour law and regulations.
And the Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE) has awarded Zambia’s First Republican President Kenneth Kaunda and late Second Republican President Frederick Chiluba for liberating the nation from colonial rulers as well as for liberating the country’s economy respectively.
Mr Lungu said his administration would not take kind to employers whose motives were bent on frustrating Government efforts in bettering the lives of people.
Mr Lungu said this in a speech read for him by Labour and Social Security Minister Fackson Shamenda in Livingstone at Chrismar Hotel on Friday night during ZFE Jubilee celebration under the theme “a good employer belongs to ZFE for industrial harmony and economic development”.
“I wish to clearly state that employers found wanting especially by flouting employees’ rights will be dealt with within the confines of the labour law and regulations.
“We will not take kind to employers whose motives are bent on frustrating Government efforts in bettering the lives of people,” Mr Lungu said.
He also said employers must always endeavour to be transparent and ensure communication channels to employers were as open as possible to avert labour unrest.
“Your role as employers in job creation is cardinal and hence my appeal for you to take advantage of many investment and collaborative opportunities availed by my Government to facilitate job creation for my people.
“I also wish to commend the Minister of Labour and Social Security Hon. Shamenda for promoting industrial harmony in the midst of economic challenges,” Mr Lungu said.
He said ZFE has been a key partner to the Government over the last 50 years in the development process of the country.
“My Government has always been and remains committed to delivering an inclusive development in the country.
“In doing so, we are fully committed to collaborating with diverse employers in our country. Our promotion of this collaboration should not be construed as a weakness on our part as Government,” he said.
He commended the efforts of ZFE over the last 50 years to improve the welfare of workers saying there was still room to improve.
“As you are aware, a motivated employee contributes effectively not only to the organisation’s productivity but also to the country as well.
“For the last 50 years, employers in Zambia have enjoyed an enabling environment and my Government will continue to promote dialogue with employers,” he said.
Mr Lungu also conveyed his profound gratitude to ZFE for recognising two of his predecessors for their contribution to the country.
He said the Patriotic Front (PF) Government had prioritised a number of infrastructure developments across the country since ascending into office in 2011.
And ZFE president Tyson Bruno said his Federation honoured Dr Kaunda and late Dr Chiluba because of their role in liberating the country from colonial rule as well as for liberating the country’s economy respectively.
Mr Bruno said ZFE also thanked Dr Kaunda for assenting to the Industrial and labour Relations Act Cap 269 of the laws of Zambia that established the Federation.
“ZFE is looking forward to continued cooperation with social partners and hope for a time when the country will be completely free of industrial unrest,” Mr Bruno said.
Several speakers from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Dutch Employers Cooperation Programme (DECP) and Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) also spoke during the gathering.