Lodge workers complains
Luangwa, March 23, ZANIS ——– Employees working in the lodges along the Zambezi river complains of casual working of six months contracts and working under harsh conditions.
The workers disclosed their complaint to the Tourism and Arts Deputy Minister, Patrick Ngoma who was in the area and toured nine lodges along the Zambezi river in Luangwa district yesterday.
The workers alleged that their employers (Tour operators) were making them work under harsh conditions and that they are only working on six months contracts, a situation they feel has no job security.
Some workers at Old Modoro Safari Lodge told the Deputy Minister that they have been working on contacts with the tour operator since 2006 and they do not get any benefits or gratuity after the contract expires.
They also complained that they were being denied incentives such as loans or to be assisted with some money when they have bereavements in their families.
Tourism and Arts Deputy Minister warned that the PF government will not condone any investor who wants to promote casualization in this country.
Mr Ngoma said government wants to promote the interests of the employer and the employee hence the need that the investors should abide by the labour laws prevailing in the country.
He said that government has put up policies such as the minimum wage because it was a government that has the poor at heart.
Mr Ngoma who sympathized with the workers said he would take the matter to the Ministry of Labour so that the problem in the tourism industry especially along the Zambezi river could be addressed.
He said it was sad that some investors have continued using people as casuals despite government warnings that it will not entertain the trend.
Mr Ngoma further observed that the tourism industry along the Zambezi river was gender insensitive as only men were been employed.
He said it was unfortunate the owners were not in the camps to talk for themselves saying he was going to make a follow up with the Tour operators to find a way forward on the issue of contracts and not assisting the workers when they were in need of help.
And the workers appealed to government to promote the opening of mines in the area as these will create more jobs unlike the tourism industry which was only benefiting a few people especially the foreigners.
They said once mines open in the area, some problems that they are facing will be the talk of the past as they will be able to get at list stable jobs.