Minister of Gender and Child Development Inonge Wina has said that government pays tribute to all workers for the immense contribution and sacrifices they have been making towards transforming the Zambian economy into what it is today.
Ms. Wina said it is for this reason that government remains committed to ensuring that decent jobs are created through increased investment in social and economical infrastructure development.
She said the PF Government will endeavour to maintain a higher economic growth of more than eight (8) percent which should in turn reduce poverty and unemployment levels in the country.
The Minister said this in Livingstone today at the Labour Day celebrations held at Villa grounds under the theme "Transforming the economy through job creation, labour law reforms, better conditions of service and improved work culture".
Ms. Wina observed that May 1st of each year is an important day as it gives an opportunity to workers to not only celebrate it but also reflect on the contribution that labour makes to the nation’s productivity and economic growth.
She further noted that since the previous year, government has been striving to build the country’s economy and improve the lives of the people but the efforts have been constrained due to high levels of unemployment that pose a great challenge to the country.
Meanwhile, Ms. Wina disclosed that government has embarked on comprehensive structural reforms which aim at making the public sector more efficient in service delivery and act as an efficient ingredient to national development.
She said the areas of particular focus in the reform process include the public financial management, public service management, private sector development , labour market reforms , decentralisation and private -public partnership.
And speaking earlier Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) Livingstone District Executive Chairman, Kashumba Kabombo, said government , the private sector , unions and all relevant stakeholders should work together to realise a transformed economy.
He said a transformed economy will improve the living conditions of the citizens thereby applying to the theme of this year’s Labour Day celebrations.
Mr. Kabombo further noted that the current labour laws must be transformed to enhance workers rights and promote productivity in the industry.
He said the current state of the industrial labour and relations Act, Cap 269, of the laws of Zambia leaves much to be desired as some employees have abused it by creating more unions in one industry hence weakening the labour movement.
Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE) Representative, Simataa Munembo, said attaining better conditions of service for workers lies in the workers enjoyment of their rights to freedom of expression through unions and promotions of social dialogue between workers and employers.
Mr. Munembo urged trade unions to embark on membership recruitment in order to increase the numbers of unionised workers in the country for them to enjoy better conditions of service.
And Livingstone Area Member of Parliament, Lawrence Evans, has cautioned
workers against going into hiding after collecting their settling- in allowances.
He described the trend as a bad culture which he said should not be tolerated as there are many people who are in need of jobs.