President Edgar Lungu has directed the Minister of labour to speed up the process of revising the minimum wage.
President Lungu says this will allow workers to have decent pay and provide food for their families.
He says in an effort to create more jobs government will continue promoting value addition.
President Lungu says the government is also promoting the growth of cooperatives in various sectors of the economy.
He says some companies that have been funded by Citizen Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) are doing well in various rural parts of Zambia and have since created employment.
He said this during this year’s Labour Day celebration.
Meanwhile, president Lungu says the government will continue consulting stakeholders on various issues affecting the nation.
He said for economic growth to be achieved, there is a need for strong ties among stakeholders.
He said the labour movement will be consulted even on the National Health Insurance bill.
And speaking at the same function, Minister of Labour Joyce Simukoko challenged Unions to broaden the parameters of their negotiations.
Ms Simukoko said unions should not only be happy when there is a salary increment but also push for their workers to have access to a mortgage.
Speaking earlier, Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) President Chishimba Nkole said his union will continue fighting for better conditions of service for workers.
He said ZCTU wants the economy to be owned by Zambians.
And Vice president Inonge Wina says the government is working towards enhancing partnerships in the labour market by championing dialogue among stakeholders as a way to creating sustainable jobs.
Mrs Wina says the government is creating an enabling environment to strengthen the synergies that allow for the different economic sectors to progress and be able to create jobs.
The vice president was speaking in Kitwe today during the Labour Day celebrations under the theme,” building partnerships for sustainable national development through decent job creation and social justice”
Mrs Wina stated that among the interventions government is doing in line with this year’s theme is the recently commissioned Global Industries plant and refinery by President Edgar Lungu in Ndola last month.
“As a result of the commissioning of the plant more jobs have been created by both the plant and the local farmers who are now producing more soya beans which the plant requires for its production,” she said.
The vice president said the government has taken cognizance that the working population worldwide including Zambia is going through challenges that require concerted efforts by stakeholders to address and the government is making efforts to alleviating these challenges.
She implored all employers in private and public companies to ensure they offer employees humane working conditions and fair wages and also to give women and men equal opportunities.
“Government is alive to the fact Zambia‘s development agenda cannot be realized if adequate investment is not made in the youth that constitutes the majority of the country population, this is why the government has come up with youth empowerment programmes in the country.
She added that government also intends to enhance decent job opportunities through promotion of industrialization whose strategies will embark on addressing job creation and youth unemployment in the country.
She said the further government will continue to pursue the implementation of the private sector development initiatives that promote and facilitate the development of a competitive private sector that will be able to create sustainable and decent jobs.
And Zambia Free Trade Union Trustee nelson Mwale has urged political parties to sober up and stop insulting each other because the war of words has never advanced human dignity has this only brings about destruction.
Mr Mwale said politicians must stop insulting each other but respect one another and focus on national development.
“The Federation of Free Trade Union of Zambia is worried about the high degree of social media abuse in the country which he said is being used to disrespect leadership.
On the health insurance, Mr Mwale said the union has thanked president Lungu for signing into law the national health insurance bill as it will ensure all Zambians have equitable access to quality healthcare.
Minister of Defence Davies Chama has appealed to Civil Servants to desist from over-borrowing and engage in farming activities to boost their income. Mr Davies Chama observes that most civil servants were complaining of the high costs of living because they have over borrowed from private lending institutions. Mr Chama says civil servants should strive to ensure that they are also involved in farming as opposed to obtaining loans from private lending institutions.
He said most of the civil servants were over borrowing from the lending institution when they do not have the capacity to pay back a situation he described as sad. The minister was speaking during the Labour Day celebrations held at the president’s park in luwingu district in Northern Province. The Labour Day was celebrated under theme building partnership for sustainable national development through decent job creation and social justice.
Meanwhile, Mr Chama appealed to the government workers to refrain from partisan politics and concentrate on their core of duty. He said the government is committed to dialogue with political parties in the country in order to continue fostering development and attract investors.
Mr Chama said the government is aware the challenges civil servants were going through especially in rural areas saying that government is slowly addressing some of the problems.
Meanwhile, Zambia Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) representative Mr Happy Phiri said the union is concerned with lack of political dialogue among the political players in the country.
Source: Lusaka Times