Public transport drivers must be protected, says ZABUTWU

WORKERS in the public transport sector have complained of being abused by their employers and have appealed to the Patriotic Front (PF) Government to save them from further abuse by ensuring that their employers, who in most cases are bus owners, abide by the labour laws.

Zambia Bus and Taxi Workers Union (ZABUTWU) acting president Poster Jumbe said President Edgar Lungu should come to the rescue of public transport workers who have been going through a lot of abuse and suffering at the hands of cruel employers who verbally abuse them and pay them ‘‘slave’’ wages.

Mr Jumbe said in an interview in Kitwe yesterday that it was sad that most of the workers in the public transport sector were being used as mere tools of production for bus owners who had no regard for labour laws.

“As we congratulate President Edgar Lungu on his election as republican President, we want to appeal to him to look at the plight of the public transport workers who are always being abused by their employers, who in this case, are bus owners. These bus owners have no regard for labour laws, but are only interested in making money.

“In the public transport sector, we have seen bus owners verbally abusing their workers and paying them slave wages.

The workers in this sector have not received support from government and this is why, we want President Lungu to save our members from further abuse by their employers,” Mr Jumbe said.

Mr Jumbe said he was hoping that whoever would be appointed Minister of Labour would work with the union to stop the abuse of workers in the public transport sector.

“We hope the new minister of Labour would be firm and strong to a level where they will help us in stopping the abuse of workers in the public transport sector.

We had a very disappointing situation where some bus owners   could even boast that some ministers were in their pockets and could not do anything to them.

“There was a very sad situation where a bus owner could boast that he has bought some ministers and even if they summoned him, he could not go to attend the meeting. We are talking of a bus owner who has been ill-treating his workers, insulting them and calling them all sorts of names,” he said.

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