The Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has called for more global interaction among trade unions to find solutions to the challenges that computer technology advancement poses to the labour market.
ZCTU deputy Secretary-General, Joy Beene said the 4th Industrial Revolution, caused by rapid advancement of computer technology, has brought about challenges in which employers in some developed countries are declaring workers redundant and replacing them with automated technology in production processes.
Mr Beene who was flanked by Zambia National Union of Health and Allied Workers General Secretary, Kahilu Mundanya made the remarks when he paid a courtesy call on Zambia’s Ambassador to Turkey, Joseph Chilengi at the official residence in Ankara today.
“Let us not pretend, things are likely to change as we go into the future. We should not just sit idly by and probably go to sleep. We have to wake up and fully participate. We have examples in which some countries are doing away with workers because of technology. We are being told that is what we should prepare for in the near future,” he said.
The delegation was in Turkey to attend the three-day Confederation of Public Servants Trade Unions (MERMUR-SEN) International Conference and 6th Ordinary Congress under the theme: “Future of work, challenges and opportunities.”
The Conference attracted 300 international delegates.
“We should put to good use the little resources that we get from members’ subscriptions. If we can invest so that when hard times hit us, we shall still survive,” Mr Beene said.
He also said Turkish trade unions should be emulated for working with the Government and for their good working relations with the leadership of the country.
Mr Beene said in his address during the official opening of the conference, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan acknowledged the important role that trade unions play in national development and also thanked them for defending democracy by helping to thwart the 15th July 2016 attempted coup in which over 200 people were killed.
“We have learnt that it is important to work with the Government of the day to develop the country and ensure industrial harmony,” Mr Beene said.
Meanwhile, Dr Chilengi urged ZCTU to strengthen its research and planning unit in order to provide Government with policy options based on research.
He said President Edgar Lungu is a pragmatic leader whose decision-making and approach to running the country is evidence-based.
“Research and planning are very important aspects which should form the core of your function as trade unions under the leadership of ZCTU,” Dr Chilengi said.