ZCTU backs State on minimum wage


THE labour movement has backed Government calls for employers to stick to the minimum wage as stipulated by the law.

Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president Leonard Hikaumba said in an interview that it was illegal for employers to continue failing to adhere to the minimum wage requirement.

On Monday, Labour minister Fackson Shamenda warned companies of stern action if they did not adhere to the minimum wage.

Mr Shamenda said employers should not take advantage of the high unemployment levels in Zambia to mistreat workers.

Reacting to the minister’s stance, Mr Hikaumba said it was illegal for employers not to pay a minimum wage to their employees and urged those who had issues with the law to engage the ministry of labour and justify their claims.

“Some of the employers are doing that deliberately and they deserve to be punished ,” he said.

Mr Hikaumba urged Government to take up the issue seriously and punish the erring employers.

On harmonisation of public service workers’ salaries, Mr Hikaumba said the labour movement welcomed the move but was quick to add that it should be done without disadvantaging other officers.

“The unions have accepted the harmonisation of salaries, all we want is for it to be done strategically and harmoniously so that other employees are not disadvantaged,” he said.

Commenting on the audit of expatriates in the country, Mr Hikaumba said it was a welcome move that would go a long way in building capacity and contributing to employment creation for ordinary Zambians.

“It is important to know the statistics of the expatriates that we have so that more Zambians take up positions where they can perform,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Hikaumba has urged Government to quicken the pace at which it was going to sort out problems affecting Times Printpak, the publishers of the Times of Zambia and the Sunday Times of Zambia.

He said it was important for Government to sort out the problems affecting the media house to keep it on track and serve as an example to all other employers in the country.