PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu will be engaged over the two year wage which Government has imposed on public service workers to find a lasting solution, Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president Chishimba Nkole has said.
And ZCTU has demanded that Government should expedite and conclude the process of labour law reforms.
“We wish to remind our newly elected President Edgar Lungu and his Government that workers of Zambia have continued to endure difficult working conditions largely as a result of weak labour laws,” he said.
Speaking when he officiated at the ZCTU and International Labour Organisation (ILO) workshop on disability in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Nkole said the union was concerned about the wage freeze which Government had imposed on public service workers.
“As a new ZCTU executive, we will formally request for a meeting with the Republican President over this matter in order to find an amicable solution to this problem. Needless to say that the current wage freeze has grossly eroded and undermined workers incomes in Zambia due to escalating commodity prices,” he said.
Mr Nkole said ZCTU’s call needed urgent consideration over the wage freeze which was illegal and a threat to harmonious industrial relations.
He said ZCTU was requesting Government to encourage social dialogue to create an atmosphere of mutual trust among tripartite partners.
Commenting on the workshop, Mr Nkole said it was aimed at raising awareness among trade union leaders on the need to recognize the rights of people with disabilities in employment.
“I am also aware that the workshop is expected to come up with recommendations on possible areas of interventions which the labour movement can undertake to recognise and address the rights of workers with disabilities,” he said.
ILO chief technical advisor for disability, Pia Korpinen, said there was need for trade unions to get involved in the challenges faced by workers with disabilities and committ themselves to equity, solidarity and social justice.
“Trade unions hold unique positions to promote equal opportunities and treatment of disabled workers. However, this opportunity to represent a large and often unfairly treated segment of the workforce is frequently unrealized,” she said.