CHRISTINE CHISHA, Lusaka
THE Zambia Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) says it will not allow a few politicians to destroy Zambia’s legacy of clean politics and dent the country’s image at international level.
ZCTU deputy secretary general for organisation administration Elaston Njovu said political tension perpetuated by some politicians is driving the country towards a knife edge.
He said politicians in both the ruling and opposition political parties should show leadership and ensure they address issues affecting the country in order to move the country forward.
“The focus has shifted from national development to political issues. We urge political leaders to respect the need for social dialogue for the sake of national development.
“Workers are interested in dialogue which will improve their welfare and bring about more opportunities,” Mr Njovu said.
He was speaking in an interview ahead of Labour Day, which falls tomorrow. The Labour Day celebrations will be celebrated under the theme: ‘securing decent work for sustainable socio-economic development’.
Mr Njovu said the choice of the theme underscores the reality facing workers as they grapple to secure decent work conditions.
He said through the theme, ZCTU is urging authorities and all employers that workers everywhere need decent work conditions in order to increase productivity levels and achieve sustainable economic growth.
Mr Njovu said only decent work can promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment.
He urged government and other employers to respect workers’ rights, especially the right to join trade unions and the right to collective bargaining.
And National Union of Public and Private Educators of Zambia (NUPPEZ) has appealed to all employers to allow their employees celebrate the workers’ day.
NUPPEZ director for public and international relations Ngoza Malonga appealed to employers countrywide to fairly treat workers and stop casualisation.
And NKOMBO KACHEMBA reports in Kitwe that ZCTU has urged employees countrywide not to take advantage of the Labour Day celebrations to stage protests against any shortcomings but to use the commemorations to reflect on their plight as workers.
ZCTU president Nkole Chishimba said in an interview in Kitwe yesterday that Labour Day accords employees an opportunity to reflect on their plight as workers and to listen to the plans leaders have to improve their welfare.
Mr Chishimba has since called on workers countrywide not to shun this year’s Labour Day because it is the only day that they are appreciated by their employers and those in leadership.
He said Labour Day purely deals with issues that are labour-related and not people’s personal vendettas.
“Labour Day is not a day to hold protests over some shortcomings. Labour Day accords workers an opportunity to listen to their leaders and also to reflect on their plight,” Mr Chishimba said.
And Mr Chishimba urged employers to give employees awards that are of good quality during the Labour Day celebrations.
He said employers must appreciate their workers by buying them goods, which are of good quality.
Labour Commissioner Chanda Kaziya has called on workers to honour their day by turning up in numbers at this year’s Labour Day celebrations, reports KELVIN MBEWE.
Mr Kaziya said 52 companies have shown interest in taking part in the commemoration and that many more are expected on the actual day.
He said the celebrations are being organised by government in conjunction with ZCTU and Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE).
Mr Kaziya said each institution that will participate in the celebrations is required to send a minimum of 15 marchers.