ZCTU to seek audience with Edgar over wage freeze

Mine workers at NFC Africa Mining shaft at Chimbishi
Mine workers at NFC Africa Mining shaft at Chimbishi

THE Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) is going to ask for a meeting with President Edgar Lungu over the wage freeze that was imposed on public service workers.
ZCTU president Nkole Chishimba said at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Disability equality training and consultative meeting with ZCTU in Lusaka yesterday that the union would soon make a formal request to meet President Lungu over the two-year wage freeze.
Mr Chishimba said the ZCTU was currently confused on whether the wage freeze was still in effect or whether it was open for negotiation.
“Therefore, this calls for urgent reconsideration of the imposed wage freeze which remains illegal and a threat to harmonious industrial relations. Generally, we request Government to encourage social dialogue in order to create an atmosphere of mutual trust among tripartite partners,” he said.
Mr Chishimba said Government should also quickly work on the labour law reforms.
He said disabled people faced challenges because of their physical status and this required the labour movement’s attention.
Mr Chishimba said disabled people did not easily access information, education, health services and employment.
Trade unions, he said, should fight for the disabled because they were marginalised and yet deserved equal opportunities in work places and in life.
ILO regional technical advisor, disability Pia Korpinen said trade unions had the operating frame work to fight for rights of the disabled workers.
Ms Korpinen said rights of disabled workers needed to become a priority.
In another development, the Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) has urged President Lungu to deal with challenges affecting the mining industry as it is the backborne of the country’s economy.
MUZ general secretary Joseph Chewe said the mining sector was faced with a number of challenges that impacted adversely on the welfare of miners.
Mr Chewe said this in his congratulatory message to Mr Lungu on his election as the country’s sixth Republican President.
He said there was need for the Head of State to quickly tackle critical challenges such as subcontracting of labour and the influx of expatriates.
“We have on a number of occasions complained over sub-contracting of labour and also the issue of too many expatriates who are taking up jobs for Zambians in the mining industry,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Anglican Diocese of Eastern Zambia has urged President Lungu to see to it that the agriculture policy is reviewed under his Government.
Vicar General Denis Milanzi said yesterday that the current strategies in agriculture have failed the people of Zambia hence the need to take stock of where things have gone wrong.
Fr Milanzi, who is also a chaplain at Katete’s St Francis Mission Hospital, said that there was also need to restructure the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) and make it more efficient.
He said it was making sad to get contradictory statements even within FRA regarding the payments of farmers.


[times of zambia]