Labour Deputy Minister Simon Kachimba has warned Shoprite Zambia to desist from engaging workers on casual bases on the pretext of studying the country’s labour laws.
Mr. Kachimba said government will not allow the company to continue engaging workers as casuals and ripping from them while alleging to be waiting for guidance from the ministry.
He said government is concerned that the chain store has not implemented the agreement that was made despite assurance to do so.
Mr. Kachimba said this when he meet Shoprite Zambia management to follow up on issues which were agreed upon between the two parties. The issues agreed upon among others last year include casualisation and contracts.
He has since directed officials from his ministry and Shoprite management to quickly start working on the labour agreement and terms of contracts for workers.
“I call upon you (Shoprite management) to take the worker’s contract to my office on Monday and immediately start solving this problem of fixed term contract and casualisation. We need seriousness in the way we handle our issues because this will also avoid protests” he said.
He also asked the management to table the company’s Zambianisation report that was agreed upon to incorporate Zambians in senior management positions.
The Minister also toured Shoprite Manda Hill branch were some employees expressed dissatisfaction with their salaries and other conditions of service.
Ms. Tubesebo Musialela an Account Clerk said workers were made to work for long hours but were receiving little pay.
She said the chain store has ignored government advice to improve the conditions of service for workers despite repeated calls.
And Shoprite Zambia Acting General Manager, Charles Bota said the company has not resolved the issues of casualisation and fixed term contracts because it wanted guidance from the ministry.
He however said that Shoprite has clear laws on the treatment of workers such has discouraging the use of abusive language and any mistreatment of workers.
Mr. Bota who could not respond to many of the minister’s concerns however promised that the company would write to him once the General Manager comes from vacation.
Shoprite Zambia has over 1,000 casual workers countrywide.