Zambia today joined the rest of the world in commemorating the International Labour Day.
|Republican President Michael Sata|
In Lusaka, Republican President Michael Sata who arrived at the freedom statute at 10: 20 hours local time graced the event.
In his address, President Sata disclosed that officers working for a named defence wing were allegedly offered poor conditions of service to its employees compared to other defence forces.
M. Sata said there is need to harmonise the disparities among the defence forces so as to motive them.
He further said he is not impressed with the salary structures for workers at the National Assembly and he requested the Speaker to consider tabling the matter in parliament.
He added that workers who opt to go on work stoppages should utilise the normal established channels of bargaining as it was retrogressive to the nation and the practice should be avoided at all costs.
The Head of State also presented awards to some of the deserving workers and reiterated government’s commitment to addressing the plight of workers in the country such as reviewing the statutory instrument on labour laws, ending casualization and child labour.
Mr Sata advised employers in the country to adhere to labour laws but emphasised the need Union Labour leaders to approach management in resolving impasse at work places.
Mr Sata regretted that HIV/AIDS was robbing the nation out of productive people whose inputs were invaluable.
Speaking earlier, Information, Broadcasting and Labour Minister Fackson Shamenda disclosed that he will soon be announcing the minimum wage for the public service workers in the country.
Mr Shamenda said government is aware of the ‘long sufferings’ that retirees go through but was quick to assure that his ministry is working round the clock to address the problem.
Mr Shamenda, who is also Chief Government Spokesperson, ticked off opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema for his continued attacks on the government of the day.
He said the opposition leader is frustrated and ‘off side’ and does not know how government operates.
Mr Hichilema is quoted in one the tabloids published today that Zambians should brace themselves for more intimidation and sufferings.
Zambia Congress of Trade Union President Leonard Hikaumba demanded for a full-scale transformation of the national economy that puts the interests of the people first and guarantees the respect for human rights.
Mr Hikaumba urged the PF government to seriously address social injustices of high poverty levels, inequality, discrimination and exploitation in working places.
He lamented that despite Zambia ratifying the major international labour Organisation conventions on promoting and protection of fundamental rights, a lot of Zambian workers have not benefited as provided for in the Conventions.
He warned that his organisation would evaluate the PF government next year to account for its six months after settling down in power from the latter, MMD government.
This year’s labour day is being commemorated under the theme“ Enhancing workers’ rights for sustainable national development”.