–The Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has commended government for the role it has played in meeting the needs of workers in the country.
ZCVTU president, Leonard Hikaumba, says the recent new collective agreement on the salary pay rise was a good example of government’s commitment to ensuring that workers’ needs are met.
Mr Hikaumba, who is attending among delegates attending a high level labour meeting in the horn of Africa, said this in an interview with ZANIS in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia today.
He called upon employers in the country to emulate what government had recently done.
Mr Hikaumaba also said the AU Labour and Social Affairs Commission conference was an important meeting where labour issues are addressed at continental level.
He noted that there were local issues such as youth unemployment, labour migration and social security that could only be tackled at that level.
And Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE) Executive Director, Harrington Chibanda, says the 9th AU Labour and Social Affairs Commission is a platform that brings governments, workers and employers together.
Mr Chibanda said the meeting is also a platform where proposed interventions are tabled so as to take into account the interests of the workers and employers.
He noted that the meeting recognized that many African countries had a challenge in the area of social protection.
Mr Chibanda said governments, during the meeting, were thus urged to extend social protection to groups of workers who are not only in urban areas but also in the rural areas.
Both Zambia Congress of Trade Unions and Zambia Federation of Employers’ representatives are in Ethiopia among Ministers and experts, social partner organisations, representatives of regional economic communities and labour and employment professional organisations from AU Member states attending the meeting.
The conference, whose theme is ‘Enhancing the capacity of the Labour Market Institutions in Africa to meet the current and Future Challenges’, started on the April 8 and is expected to end on the of April 12, 2013.
The AU Labour and Social Affairs Commission is convened every two years and is organized on the tripartite principle basis which provides a policy forum to governmental authorities, and representatives of workers and employers organisation.