By Francis Maingaila
(25-03-18) The minister of labour Joyce Simukoko has made a passionate appeal for workers to study and know law that defines the work relationship and duties, including rights of worker and employer.
Simukoko told journalists at the PF Interactive Forum held at Chrisma Sunday that the government deliberately take time to formulate the laws that not only protect but also direct dos and don’t to both workers and employees.
She indicated that the workers are not supposed to be mistreated by employers in their work places because in the eye of the law both workers and employer are equal partners in development.
According Simukoko workers who ignore the labour laws are doing so at their own peril and should not complain because they could sat on their rights.
She suggested that at time, some employers will deliberately frustrate the workers to find a reason for them to leave employment.
“But if workers know their rights as provided by the law, they will able to defend themselves.”
She also urged the workers to understand the conflicting interest that exist in the markets as stipulated in the law saying this will help them to understand how to deal with labour matters.
“The government does not imposed laws on the people. These are the product of consultations from a wide spectrum of interested parties.”
He added that the laws are therefore formulated to protect the workers.
Some of the laws that protect workers she highlighted are the Employment Act which deal with the means of employment; Industrial and Labour Relationship Act, Minimum Wage and Factory Act and Workers compensation acts, including
Zambia Institution of Human Resource and NAPSA Act.
She said all these laws are designed in line with the provisions of the constitution.
She said the law designed in the light of the constitution will protect the workers in full and no one will feel victimised.
She also clarified that in a liberalised economy, the government act as a referee and ensure that none is victimised.
She suggested that, the government will also ensure that no one cries foul in the line of development.
She further clarified that, the labour movement exist to not only to regulate but also fight for the interest of workers as guided by the laws that governs labour forces in the country.
“The union are there to mitigate the interest of workers in times of disputes.”
She said workers are at liberty to join the labour union of their choices if they are to get the maximum support from the law.
She however, advised workers to do their work diligently but within the confines of the law.
She also disclosed that there is a social security schemes law designed to assist workers at the point of retirement.
She urged the workers to belong to some pension schemes for security saying they will be given protection in the time of need.
“The government is working hard to ensure there is a good security and descent jobs,” she said.
Meanwhile Simukoko maintained casualisation in Zambia is still illegal.
She regretted that some times the employers take advantage of the ignorance of workers to perpetuate casualisation..
She appealed to workers not only to refuse but also report casualisation where it is being perpetuated.
She said workers not to pride in cusaualisation because it destroys the work force.
She also urged thee workers to fight all forms of casualisation through union.