Workers must be respected-ZCTU

WORKERS can contribute positively to national economic growth if they fully exercise their rights and freely engage in collective bargaining, Zambia Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) president Nkole Chishimba has said.

And the  Federation of Free Trade Union of Zambia (FFTUZ) has called for the sustainable improvement in the conditions of service of the workers through collective bargaining.

Meanwhile, International Labour Organisation (ILO) for Zambia director Martin Clemenson has urged the labour movement to stand united and speak with one voice.

Speaking during the Labour Day commemoration yesterday which was held under the theme “Promoting National Economic Growth Through Job Creation, Free Collective Bargaining and Respect for Workers Rights,” Mr Chishimba said there was need for Government to create an environment of employment for the jobless and respected rights of the workers.

Mr Chishimba said Government should seriouly commit itself to policies and strategies aimed at job creation.

He said the issue of job creation did not recieve much meaningful attention, adding that the labour movement was hopeful that the PF Government under President Lungu’s leadership would pay attention to job creation.

The labour movement has called on President Lungu and the Patriotric Front (PF) Government to immediately revise the labour law reforms which they promised in 2011.

Mr Chishimba said the PF Government promised that they would revise the labour law reforms aftter getting into power in 2011.

Mr Chishimba urged the Government not to rush in implementing the proposed 65 reitrement age.

And Mr Chishimba urged Government to immediately enact the new constutition before the 2016 general elections.

Mr Chsishimba said ZCTU was disappointed at the level of secrecy some Government officials on the constitution making process.

He urged the Government to always be ready to respond to criticism from the stakeholders in order to effectively deliver.

“Allow us to criticize you by increasing political tolerance because we are partners in development,” he said.

And FFTUZ president Chingati Msiska said the unions had take note of the key areas of the 2015 Labour Day Commemorations whcih included employment creation, collective bargaining and respect for the rights of owrkers.

Mr Msiska called for high productivity among workers in the country in order to contribute to the social and economical growth.

He called for the sustainable improvement in the conditions of service of the workers through collective bargaining.

Mr Msiska said FFTUZ was also alive to the fact that there was need for high productivity and better performance among workers in various institutions.

Mr Msiska said no institution should be allowed to exploit workers on the expense of running a more profitable business and Government must ensure that companies in various industrial sectors seriously adresses respect which the workers deserve.

And ILO has urged the labour movement to stand united and speak with one voice.

Mr Clemenson said the department of labour must have enough resources to do its job and warned that unresolved labour disputes affected productivity and the country’s economic performance.

“We should always remember that it is not the Government itself that should create new jobs in the industry but rather the private sector,” he said. Mr Clemenson said the Government needed to be seen succeding with enabling the diversification of the economy in order to reduce the dependance on mining and the price of copper.

He urged the Government to invest susbtaincially in education and productivity, adding that Government should expect high productivity to come from vulnerability.

And the Zambia Federations of Employees (ZFE) president Tyson Chisambo said Zambia was still facing job unemployment among the youths.

He urged the Government to find a quick solution to the current high umeployment level in Zambia.

Mr Chisambo said the youths in Zambia deserved to have access to employment as opposed to the current situation.

He said the Federation of employers would stand ready to work with the Labour Movement and member employers in resolving any industrial conflicts.

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