By Nation Reporter
THE Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and the Federation of Free Trade Union of Zambia (FFTUZ) have officially agreed to merge and will this morning sign a memorandum of understanding to seal the deal.
ZCTU senior trustee member Catherin Chinundu and FFTUZ president Chingati Msiska said the decision would help the labour movement to avoid being fragmented and risk losing their influence.
And speaking during the workshop for merging ZCTU and FFTUZ, Minister of Labour and Social Security Fackson Shamenda said the decision by the two mother bodies to merge would results into a stronger voice for workers.
Mr Shamenda told the two labour movements to ensure that the process of merging took a further step and that it required a lot of concentration by its leadership.
Meanwhile, Mr Shamenda said the Patriotic Front government and President Edgar Lungu would never interfere with the collective bargaining between the labour movement and workers.
“President Lungu will never interfere in the labour movement bargaining processes,” Mr Shamenda said.
He said in the past the unions were being controlled by Government under certain laws but that under the Patriotic Front (PF) government, the unions were free.
Mr Shamenda said the union leadership should be able to decide where it wanted to go without anybody’s interference.
He said the type of wages and schools where children of the members were going were a business of the labour movement to ensure that there was improvement.
Mr Shamenda also observed that the labour movement in Zambia was highly fragmented.
And Labour Institute of Zambia chairman Fanwell Sumaili said the labour movement in Zambia was weak in Zambia because it was too fragmented.
Dr Sumaili, who is among the people facilitating the merging of ZCTU and FFTUZ, said the Labour Institute of Zambia was in support of the process.
“We shall live our door open for more support because we are friends of labour. Our doors will remain open as a friend whenever you need us,” Dr Sumaili said.
Meanwhile, Mrs Chinundu said the decision of the two unions to merge had the blessing of the membership.
She said the fragmentation of the labour movement in Zambia had largely contributed to weakened bargaining voice of workers.
And Mr Msiska said yesterday’s meeting gave the labour movement hope of having one voice.
He called for transparency, accountability and honest among members of the merging two union mother bodies.
“The two mother bodies should take into consideration the views that would come from the general membership,” Mr Msiska said.