Congress of Trade Unions laments challenges of managing over a million workers


The Zambia Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) says it is finding it challenging to organise over a million workers that are in formal employment.

ZCTU president, Blake Mulala, explained that this was because some private institutions have continued to frustrate the union activities.

During the end of the year media briefing in Lusaka on Friday, Mulala called for unhindered respect for workers to organise and bargain collectively.

He reminded employers in the private sector that Zambian workers have laws that allowed them to belong to a union of their choice and be allowed to bargain for their improved salary and other conditions of service

“Our comrades in the media have also proved to be problematic and none of the scribes are willing to write about their problems in their sector,” Mulala noted.

He stated that foriegn investors that had come to establish business in this country are also another problematic group of employers who should know that refusal to allow workers to belong to the Union of their choice was a breach of the Laws of Zambia.

Mulala noted that there were cases of employers who were refusing to grant contracts to workers, Mother’s Day holiday, or even lunch breaks as provided by the Employment Code was denied to some workers.

“We want to send a strong warning to such employers that their days are numbered. We want to call on our Trade Union leadership to go to every workplace and organise members and check for adherence to the country’s labour laws,” he warned.

Read More: Labour union body, ZCTU, pushes for fair labour law practices in SADC region

On the cost of living, the ZCTU president called on government and the private sector to implement policies that would lower the cost of living and raise disposable incomes.

Mulala stated that the current cost of living was anchored on many factors and top among them was the huge debt that the country was struggling to manage.

“The high cost of living disapproportinately affected workers this year. Food, fuel, utilities and others basics became less affordable. Workers’ wages struggled to h
Keep up,” he said.

The ZCTU leader emphasized that this was why debt restructuring was everyone’s business and that all Zambians should come together to ensure that it was achieved for good.

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