Shamenda extols public workers for their understanding

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Labour and Social Security Minister Fackson Shamenda has praised public service workers for maintaining industrial harmony since the Patriotic Front (PF) government came into power one and half years ago.

Mr. Shamenda has also hailed public service union leaders for peaceful civil service salary increment negotiations which were concluded last month.

He said this today during the Labour Day celebration at the Freedom statue which falls on May 1, every year.

Mr. Shamenda stated that the unions should be praised for their mature and understanding attitude during the salary increment negations for civil servants which were held in Siavonga in Southern province.

He said the bargaining process was very successful adding that civil servants will be rewarded their increments as agreed by all concerned parties in September this year.

And Mr. Shamenda has said President Michael Sata was a good leader who has managed to achieve positive development results within a short period of time he has been a Head of State.

Mr. Shamenda said President Sata was not a type of leader whom some people thought he was before 2011 elections.

He said all those people who hurled insults at him would have been thrown in jail if President Sata was a bad man.

He added that the President has even appointed some of his critics into government positions proving that he was a father of all Zambians.

And Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president Leonard Hikaumba praised the Patriotic Front government for respecting and recognising the important role trade unions play in this country.

Mr. Hikaumba stated that trade unions should be allowed to grow in the nation as opposed to ‘fixing’ them as what used to happen during the MMD rule.

He also echoed that there was need to develop Zambia so that high levels of poverty, which have engulfed many Zambians, can be reduced.

He said many young people in Zambia were not in employment even when the country was endowed with natural resources which if tapped, would help reduce high poverty levels.

Mr. Hikaumba has meanwhile urged government to increase the funding for the Ministry of Labour and Social Security because it has a gigantic task.

He said the ministry plays an important role in the governance of the country as it deals with the welfare of employees and their condition of service among other tasks.

Speaking at the same function, Federation of Free Trade Unions president Joyce Nonde-Simukoko said it was sad that out of 13 million Zambians, only a small number of them was in formal employment

Mrs. Simukoko said Zambians were highly expectant of more money into their pockets as promised by the PF government during 2011 campaigns.

She also noted that government should be praised for revising the labour laws which were not favourable to workers.

And Mrs. Simukoko has implored government to be tough on civil servants who have negative attitude towards work.

She said some public officers spend a lot of time talking on phones and face booking at the expense of work.

She said people should not be allowed to draw a salary at the end of the month when they do nothing during the course of the month.

Meanwhile, Zambia Federation of Employers president Alfred Masupha said this year’s labour cerebration theme calls for hard work on the part of government.

Mr. Masupha said the private sector and the Zambian workers, including other players in the economy that make significant contribution to wealth creation, play an important role in the development of any nation.