IT IS surprising that some senior managers are complaining about the minimum wage for domestic workers when they are given domestic workers’ allowances by their employers, the Federation of Free Trade Union of Zambia (FFTUZ) has charged.
FFTUZ president Joyce Nonde-Simukoko says the move by Minister of Labour and Social Security Fackson Shamenda to increase the minimum wage for domestic workers is a positive step towards improving the welfare of domestic, shop and general workers in Zambia.
Mrs Nonde-Simukoko said some managing directors and other senior managers are paid domestic workers’ allowances of between K2 million and K4 million by their employers and wondered why they were complaining about the minimum wage of K522,400.
She said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that complaints from some sectors that Government did not consult are baseless.
Mrs Nonde-Simukoko said the FFTUZ will stand firm and ensure that employers of domestic and shop workers respect the law on the minimum wage.
“As FFTUZ, we will stand firm on the new minimum wage and we will support it. We will now intensify sensitisation programmes to our members,” she said.
Mrs Nonde-Simukoko said salaries for domestic, shop and general workers cannot improve their livelihood.
“Look at the salaries they were getting—K250,000 or K500,000…what can they do with that? Can they send their children to school with that kind of money? When will they develop as individuals?
“Please, let’s be fair, domestic and shop workers have suffered for too long. It seems their employers are enjoying the exploitation of domestic workers, which is not good,” she said.
“Domestic workers make our homes confortable, they deserve something better than what they were getting,” Mrs Nonde-Simukoko said.
She also urged shop owners to respect the new minimum wage.Mrs Nonde-Simukoko said claims by some shop owners that they do not make adequate profits are unjustifiable.
“If you check their balance sheets, these shop owners in Kamwala or on Cairo road make a lot of profit. It is not true that they don’t make much,” she said.