The Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has threatened to organize countrywide mass demonstrations if government does not lift the wage freeze imposed on the civil service.
ZCTU Secretary General Roy Mwaba says from now on government will take full responsibility over its arrogance on the wage freeze.
Speaking during a media briefing in Lusaka today, Mr. Mwaba said the ZCTU is consulting its affiliates and will mobilize workers countrywide to demonstrate against the wage freeze because the action by government has left it with no option.
Mr. Mwaba, who was flanked by his Deputy Cosmas Mukuka, says part of the mass demonstration will be at Parliament building as a means of sending a strong message to Members of Parliament not to endorse the 2015 national budget until the wage freeze is lifted.
He states that should government not pay an ear to these mass demonstrations against the wage freeze, the union will apply other measures and actions to emphasize its disapproval of government’s decision to maintain the wage freeze.
The ZCTU Secretary General who could not clearly state whether union’s pressure on government to lift the wage freeze will culminate into strike action, says the public service workers will not shy away from striking if it becomes necessary.
He states that public service workers have conducted strikes before under previous successive governments and therefore it can also do the same under the Patriotic Front government especially that the unions are determined not to allow the country to become an animal farm.
And Mr. Mwaba has observed that it will be foolish to consider dialogue now over wage freeze when the budget has already been printed.
He says if government wants to dialogue over the wage freeze, it should put on hold the passing of the 2015 nation budget.
Mr. Mwamba was responding to Information and Broadcasting Minister and Chief Government Spokesperson Joseph Katema’s indication that government is ready to dialogue over the wage freeze.
( Wednesday 15th October 2014 )