PRESIDENT Sata has directed employers to improve workers’ conditions of service and pay them better and befitting wages.
And the President has said that people should stop talking about the wage freeze because there is nothing to discuss on the matter.
Mr Sata said at Labour Day celebrations in Lusaka yesterday that employers should give workers good wages and conditions of service.
“Go back, go and reflect; improve on your workers’ conditions of service. Have you seen the workers? They have come to march – all of them – young ones and big ones. Go and improve their salaries,” he said.
The President said employers should emulate Government when it comes to taking care of employees.
He said the Zambia Police Service, the Zambia Army and the Zambia National Service are properly dressed because Government is taking good care of them.
President said employers should look after their employees to avoid strikes.
“People should not go on strike to get well paid. Just think if it was you who had no pay. So, please those are instructions Mr Fackson Shamenda [Minister of Labour and Social Security]. Just make sure that people get paid and they should not go on strike for pay,” Mr Sata said.
President Sata directed that no speech should be read during this year’s Labour Day, which is being celebrated under the theme ‘Zambia at 50: Creating decent work and promoting social economic justice for national development’.
“There will be no speeches today because we keep talking about the same message. Just go back and improve the workers’ pay,” he said.
On the wage increase freeze, President Sata said people should stop talking about it because the strategy is in place only for the civil service.
“And when I say wage freeze, it is wage freeze for Government and we should stop talking about it. We have not stopped any employer to say there is a wage freeze. So if you talk of wage freeze, we shall freeze you Mr Shamenda,” he said.
Former President Kenneth Kaunda thanked President Sata for the good guidance and leadership he has provided for the country.
“Mr President, thank you for the good guidance and leadership you have shown us. May God keep guiding you as you lead the nation,” Dr Kaunda said.
Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president Leonard Hikaumba welcomed President Sata’s directive to pay workers decent salaries.
“Decent employment entails that workers are given decent salaries and that the President is directing employers to give decent wages and salaries to their workers is a welcome move,” Mr Hikaumba said.
He said to improve workers’ wages and conditions of service, employers should at all times consult with the labour movement.
Mr Hikaumba said ZCTU wants to promote productivity and that output at work places can only be achieved when there is harmony.
He said ZCTU does not encourage strikes as a means of demanding better salaries although it is the right of workers to do so.
“Strike action is a workers’ right but it is a right that must be used with care. We don’t encourage our members to strike anyhow. There must be a justifiable reason to strike,” he said.
Mr Hikaumba also said Zambians should be asking themselves why the country is poor after 50 years of independence despite being rich in resources.
And in Kabwe that President Sata is committed to job reaction.
Mr Sata said this in a speech read for him by Minister of Education, Science, Vocation Training and Early Education John Phiri during May Day celebrations at Godfrey Chitalu Stadium.
ZCTU secretary general Roy Mwaba has condemned some opposition political parties who shunned the celebrations, STEVEN MVULA reports from Kasama.
“We will not give these political parties our solidarity because they have shunned our event. We all need to support the government of the day,” Mr Mwaba said in Kasama yesterday at the Labour Day celebrations.
And in Chipata Government places job creation top of its developmental agenda to ensure that there is stability in the country.
Speaking at Labour Day celebrations, Eastern Province minister Malozo Sichone said Government attaches importance to the process of reforming labour laws to ensure workers’ aspirations and rights are protected. ZAMBIA DAILY MAIL