THE Zambia Congress of Trade Unions has described the call by the Zambia Federation of Employers for employees not to push for salary increments this year because of the high cost of doing business as a joke.

ZCTU general secretary Cosmos Mukuka says the call was baseless and a sign of lack of regard for employees who are key in running various companies.

Mr Mukuka’s remarks follow an appeal from the ZFE to the labour movement not to push for salary increments this year to allow employers to recover from the economic challengers that have contributed to the high cost of doing business.

“If the employer is not worried about the cost of living of the employee then that employer is looking at an employee as a joke,” Mr Mukuka noted.

He said employees had a right to engage in collective bargaining to find out what was due to them.

Mr Mukuka urged ZFE members and Government to ‘‘sit down and come up with a plan or strategy which can survey the mess’’ by looking at other areas where revenue can be found to pay workers.

“The emphasis is on the Zesco electricity tariffs that have pushed the production cost high,” said Mr Mukuka.

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