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Prevent strikes, unions told

LABOUR Commissioner Chanda Kaziya has urged trade unions in the country to take a lead in stabilising the labour market by helping to prevent unnecessary strikes.

Mr Kaziya said Government expects trade unions to be united and foster dialogue between employers and employees.
He said when he featured on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation’s Sunday Interview programme that Government will also monitor operations of trade unions and audit their accounts.
“We expect trade unions to take a lead to stabilise the labour market and avoid strikes. They  need to be relevant to the labour market, we also urge them to invest in various sectors of the economy because they have cash,” Mr Kaziya said.
And Mr Kaziya said in consultation with other stakeholders, Government will look into calls to increase the minimum wage in light of the high cost of living.
“The minister [of labour] is alive to that fact [that the cost of living is high] and it [increasing the minimum wage] has to be done,” he said.
Mr Kaziya said Government will not allow expatriates to take up jobs that can be performed by Zambians especially in the mines.
“We are actively working to reduce that and I have requested the mines to give me details of the expatriates they have employed,” he said.
And Mr Kaziya said the Ministry of Labour and Social Security plans to dispatch more labour inspectors to various parts of the country to sensitise and ensure that employers adhere to labour laws.
He said his ministry will step up sensitisation on labour laws so that employees can know their rights and demand for them.