‘‘We are not intimidated by management’s desperate move to seek the Industrial Relations Court’s intervention in an attempt to halt our intended strike action,’’ the Judicial and Allied Workers Union of Zambia has said.
JAWUZ secretary general Vincent Makondo said they were in receipt of a court order restraining members of the union from taking any strike action which would paralyze all courts in the country.
“Of course, we have received the court order to stop us from taking any strike action, but we shall not allow ourselves to be intimidated by completely backing down.
“Of course, we shall respect the court order but this is not the end. We shall follow the provisions of the law and allow the process to go through to the letter,” he said.
Mr Makondo explained that the union was geared to undertake a ballot, to select which strike action they could take, but that with the court or
der, they would not proceed.
According to the restraining order, the Attorney General and the Judiciary, being first and second applicants respectively, have ordered Vincent Makondo, in his capacity as general secretary of JAWUZ, to restrain his members from taking strike action following failed salary negotiations.
According to an affidavit filed by the Judiciary at the Industrial
Relations Court in Lusaka, a collective dispute was declared following failed negotiations over the improved salaries and conditions of service at a meeting held with the union.
The Registrar of the High Court, Mathews Zulu, explained that a bargaining unit agreed on a number of demands, but that parties declared a collective dispute on the upward adjustment of salaries, housing and transport allowances with an introduction of K300 as medical allowance.
“What I verily believe is the respondent will be taking a ballot on whether to take strike action and which strike action will not be in the public interest as business at the Judiciary will come to a standstill,” he said.
Mr Zulu explained that allowing the unionized workers to take strike action would adversely affect the delivery of justice in the country. The registrar claimed that the whole package offered to the employees was in all circumstances fair and reasonable especially taking into consideration the prevailing conditions in the public service.
Some of the union’s demands presented to the conciliator included K2,000 salary increment across the board, as well as 50 percent increment of housing allowance, 25 percent for transport and K300 medical allowance respectively.