Labour Minister, Chishimba Kambwili has asked companies to give workers better salaries as a way to support government’s promise of more money in people’s pockets.
Mr. Kambwili says workers have too much expectation from government concerning better wages adding it is important that employers help to meet some of the expectations.
The Minister noted that Zambian workers have for a long time suffered due to poor wages and conditions of services saying this is why people voted for the Patriotic Front (PF) to solve these problems.
He said awarding better salaries to workers will also help cushion industrial unrest in companies and lead to productivity.
He noted that many companies were under performing because workers who are involved in production were de-motivated because of poor salaries and conditions of services.
ZANIS reports that Mr. Kambwili who was conducted a surprise visit of companies in Luanshya said this when he visited Metal Fabricators of Zambia (ZAMEFA) today.
The Minister has also directed management at the company to allow the workers to form a union by Monday to help them negotiate for improved conditions of services.
He said under the government regulations, all companies with more than 25 workers should form a union to resolve some of the workers’ concerns.
He also advised the company to resolve issues surrounding former ZIMCO employees who were engaged by the company.
Mr. Kambwili further urged the company management to do away with short term contracts and instead put all its workers on full time and pensionable employment.
He said ZAMEFA is an internationally recognized company adding that government does not expect the company to have problems in solving workers’ concerns.
The Minister who later toured the plant at the company however expressed happiness with the environment and the way the company is looking after the safety of the workers by giving them safety attire.
Mr. Kambwili who later toured Emman Farming Enterprises in Luanshya expressed satisfaction with the investor for the huge investment in the company that will be producing animal stock feed.
He urged the company to also consider giving its workers better conditions of services when it starts full operations.
Earlier ZAMEFA Chief Operations Officer, Carlos Cabrera informed the Minister that the company has 300 workers but 30 are on full time while 270 are on contracts.
And one of the Directors at Emman Farming Enterprise, Konstantinos Tsolos said the company has invested over US$ 18 million in the plant.
Mr. Tsolos said the company which will start operations by May this year will employ over 150 workers in the plant and several other casual workers who will be helping to load and offload their products.
Mr. Kambwili is on an impromptu visit of companies on the Copperbelt to verify concerns of abuse of workers and casualisation.