Shoprite operating normally, licence intact – Shamenda

SHOPRITE workers have called off their strike waiting for fresh negotiation to be concluded within 10 days .Here workers at Manda Hill outlet going on with their work. –Picture by COLLINS PHIRI.

MINISTER Labour and Social Security Fackson Shamenda says Shoprite is operating normally and its operating licence is still in force.
The minister said Government is cleaning up the labour sector for the benefit of Zambians.
Mr Shamenda said after touring the Shoprite outlet at Manda Hill Shopping Mall in Lusaka yesterday that multinational companies such as Shoprite should start empowering local managers.
“Once they [local managers] have power, they will be able to make decisions. We don’t want a cosmetic type of arrangement where people are just being used as a front while the real power rests somewhere else,” he said.
He said Government gives companies and their employees an opportunity to resolve problems when they arise before taking any action.
And Mr Shamenda said his ministry is still waiting for Shoprite management to decently remunerate its employees.
“We want to encourage our union and Shoprite management to expedite the negotiations so that we are able to see the way forward,” he said.
And in an interview, State House permanent secretary Kaizer Zulu said the revocation of the trading licence for Shoprite by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing on Wednesday has been reversed.
Mr Zulu said State House instructed the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to reverse its decision.
He appealed to Shoprite management and other business entities operating in Zambia to respect the laws of the land.
“Government stands ready to support Shoprite and other business entities. We recognise the fact that investors are our partners in development but we will not take kindly to any investors who rap the dignity of Zambian citizenry,” Mr Zulu said.
Mr Zulu said Government will not hesitate to deal with any private business entities that abrogate laws and welfare of its employees.
He said Government has no intentions of interfering in the operations of private enterprises.
Mr Zulu, however, said Government has the duty to uphold and enforce the law that governs business entities and expect private business enterprises to abide by the law.
Meanwhile, Shoprite employees, who had withdrawn their labour, have returned to work.