WORKERS COMPENSATION CORNER with MAYBIN NKHOLOMBA
THE Zambia Union of Financial and Allied Workers (ZUFIAW) recognised the Workers’ Compensation Fund Control Board (WCFCB) as the most supportive employer in what appeared to be confirmation of their motto, ‘Workers First’ at the just-ended 12th quadrennial conference held at Fairmount Hotel in Livingstone.
The conference, which ran for two days from December 21 to 22, was held under the theme ‘Building through our diversity for growth and inclusiveness in a dynamic environment’.
The recognition comes at a time when WCFCB has fully embraced ZUFIAW as a social partner in the development of a robust social security system for employment injuries and diseases in Zambia.
Although it is uncommon to sing own praises, we are compelled to mention that WCFCB has been an all-weather friend of ZUFIAW and some of our employees have actually taken prominent positions to advance the cause of ZUFIAW in the country, not to mention our participation in activities that seek to promote the union.
The union has demonstrated commitment towards the successful transformation of WCFCB over the years, and achievements recorded have been as a result of cordial industrial relations obtaining in the institution during critical times.
ZUFIAW has stood firmly behind WCFCB in times when critical measures have been implemented to improve benefits for workers getting injured in the course of employment, to improve conditions of service for employees and to improve enforcement of compliance among employers.
WCFCB is where it is today largely because of the support of ZUFIAW and its membership.
As readers may agree, recognitions such as the one given to WCFCB by ZUFIAW are normally a rare gesture in labour relations in most jurisdictions around the world, including Zambia. Therefore, the recognition gives WCFCB great motivation to work towards better relations with ZUFIAW, which is the country’s premier union for workers in the financial sector with a membership of 4,000 workers.
The role of ZUFIAW in employee welfare is critical to the operations of WCFCB in Zambia, and there is certainly no other way of developing relations other than through inclusiveness. We have noted with satisfaction the inclusion of the youth and women in ZUFIAW affairs.
There is no doubt in our mind that ZUFIAW has experienced progressive leadership that has ably guided the institution to where it is today.
The transitions at ZUFIAW are certainly exemplary and need adaptation to many other unions in the country.
As they say, the history of the world is a history of great men and women, who were able to think, exercise flexibility and set rules that worked for people of diverse backgrounds – this could be said of ZUFIAW and its great leaders present and past.
As Minister of Labour and Social Security Joyce Nonde-Simukoko, who officially opened the conference, observed, ZUFIAW has carried on with progressive reforms, especially those that seek to include all stakeholders in labour relations.
Mrs Simukoko, who also served as general secretary of ZUFIAW, confirmed that the progression of reforms included the establishment of the youth and women committees.
At the same conference, the minister made significant statements such as urging trade unions to invest their resources in capacity building as it was important in creating a happy work force.
She also warned union leaders against abusing workers funds; noting that unlike many others, ZUFIAW was among the few that were compliant in prudent use of resources.
She said going forward, the ministry, starting in 2018, would not only accept financial statements but also subject them to forensic audits.
Away from the topic for this week, we take this opportunity to thank our readers, and all our clients for the business support rendered in 2017 and wish to extend a happy and prosperous new year to you all.
We recognise that our institution exists only for the reason to serve customers and that without customers, there would be no WCFCB to talk about. 2018 is going to be a challenging year for us and we count on your continued support, for us to achieve the ambitious plans that we have set to bring a new dimension to the running of the employment injury scheme in Zambia.
The author is head of communications and customer services at Workers Compensation Fund Control Board.
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