Don’t talk about minimum wage, shamenda tells trade unions

Information, Broadcasting and Labour Minister Fackson Shamenda says it is dangerous for trade union leaders to talk about the minimum wage.

Mr. Shamenda said the minimum wage is meant for people who work as domestic workers and therefore trade unions who represent workers in public and private institutions do not qualify to comment on the minimum wage.

He said he never used to talk about the minimum wage when he was a trade union leader because he understood that it was outside his jurisdiction to do so.

Mr. Shamenda was speaking in Lusaka yesterday during the launch of  the so called strategic plan for the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry for the period 2011-2015.

He said government was looking at the minimum wage sector based so that the wages for the different sectors can be varied.

He said if the minimum wage was to be made uniform for the different sectors, it would mean that workers in certain sectors will to have their wages reduced so as to be at par with workers in the other sectors.

Mr. Shamenda noted that this situation would undoubtedly not appeal to many workers especially in sectors that pay well.

Lately, some trade union leaders have been pestering government to announce the new minimum wage following President Michael Sata’s directive to the Minister of Labour late last year to revise the minimum wage in order to accord workers decent salaries.

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