The opposition FDD has congratulated Zambian workers for their patriotism and hard work as they celebrate Labour Day which is a global annual event falling on 1st May.
This year’s Labour Day is being commemorated under the Theme “Rebuilding National Economy through decent work”.
FDD Chairperson for labour and Employment Yotam Mtayachalo says his party considers the working class as an important factor of production because without labour there can be no any meaningful economic development taking place anywhere therefore workers deserve to be well remunerated in order to achieve high productivity at work places.
Mr Mtayachalo says it is however sad that workers this year celebrated their day indoors which is unusual because of the challenges brought about by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic which has disrupted the global economy and the smooth preparations of this historic landmark day on the worker’s international calendar.
“Further we are alive to the fact that workers in the country continue to face enormous economic challenges due to the ever increasing cost of living which has eroded their purchasing power and the situation has been exacerbated due to the effects of COVID-19 and as such a number of workers have lost their livelihoods as the result of job losses not only in Zambia but at global level as well as the wheels of production have tremendously slowed down and it is our prayer that with concerted efforts the situation can be brought under control as quickly as possible”, he added.
Furthermore, Mr Mtayachalo said many workers all over the world continue to be subjected to slavery wages and others get injured or lose their lives every year in the course of discharging their noble duties because some operate in most hazardous work places which calls for effective Occupation Health and Safety regulations at work places and improved working conditions.
Mr Mtayachalo said he is however very proud and greatly humbled to have been associated with the labour movement for many years and has urged Trade Unions especially in Zambia to unite in view of fragmentation of trade unions and the growing anti union activities being perpetuated by hard core capitalists employers who have a tendency of using workers as just mere tools of production without much reward.
He said the labour movement must now be more united and proactive than before if they have to speak with one united voice and rekindle their lost glory in order to strengthen their bargaining power in pursuit of their noble duty of advocating for the rights of workers and better working conditions for their members.
Mr Mtayachalo has appealed to employers in the country to increase their budgetary allocations towards interventions which safeguard the health of workers in order to keep them safe from COVID-19 and other health hazards in work places because a healthy and motivated workforce is key to increased labour productivity thus accelerating the country’s economic development.