No Strikes, Shamenda Warns Workers

Government says it will not tolerate illegal work stoppages because they negatively impact on productivity.

Minister of Labour and Social Security Fackson Shamenda said Government wants industrial harmony in the labour sector.

Shamenda said this in Lusaka yesterday during the official opening of the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) general council.

He said Government will start holding leaders of trade unions accountable for any work stoppage because they negotiate for salary increments and improved conditions of service for their members.

“Government is concerned with what was happening last year where employees were going on illegal strikes.

“This was affecting productivity and this year we want to see a situation where we will have industrial harmony in the labour sector. If workers start going on illegal strikes, we will be holding leaders of trade unions accountable,” Shamenda said.

He, however, said Government will not interfere with the operations of the labour movement.

Shamenda also challenged the labour movement to continue playing a pivotal role in assisting Government to implement a job-centred and pro-poor economic framework which will help improve the living standards of the people.

“Many of you may have already noticed that we have placed jobs at the centre of economic and social policy through development of our infrastructure and other such initiatives.

“It is for this reason that the government needs the support from the social partners in implementing these measures which will ultimately address the high unemployment and
poverty levels in the country,” he said.

Shamenda also said Government will this year review salary structures for all employees in the public service.

He said Government has noted that some employees, especially in parastatal institutions, are drawing huge salaries and yet others are getting meager salaries.

“We will reduce salaries for all these people who are getting huge salaries,” Shamenda said.

And ZCTU president Leonard Hikaumba pledged the labour movement’s continued support to Government’s programmes aimed promoting industrial harmony.

Hikaumba also said ZCTU will continue fighting for a better life and social transformation of workers across the country.

Source: Zambia Daily Mail