BY NOEL IYOMBWA
GOVERNMENT has warned truck drivers in the road transport sector who are inciting their colleagues to stage a countrywide strike.
Labour and Social Security Minister, Joyce Simukoko, said Government was aware that some drivers calling themselves ‘professionals’ were inciting others to stage a countrywide strike on October 19.
She said the action was not supported by the law especially sections 75 to 78 of the Industrial and Labour Relations Act Cap 269 of the laws of Zambia.
Ms Simukoko said that the law clearly provided the procedure that must be followed before a strike action or work stoppage is undertaken.
The minister said Government was aware that the planned strike was as a result of the misinformation about the perceived delay in the formulation of the transport sector minimum wages and conditions of service statutory instrument.
“To the contrary, I wish to inform the nation that Government has been holding meetings and is still in the process of consulting stakeholders in line with section 99 of the Employment Code Act number 3 of 2019 in order to come up with a minimum wage that will be acceptable and fair to both employers and employees.
“As a result of the sensitivity of the matter, Government would be failing in its duties if it does not engage all the relevant stakeholders be-fore coming up with a statutory instrument on the minimum wages,” Ms Simukoko said.
She said it was strange and unacceptable that drivers wanted to create an impression that they were the ones driving the minimum wage requirement when it was not.
Ms Simukoko implored drivers and other employees to join unions so that they were represented in matters of such nature.
She added that the ministry’s role was not to negotiate for improved terms and conditions of service on behalf of employees.
The ministry, she said, acted as mediator or referee during labour and industrial disputes so as to attain industrial harmony.
BY NOEL IYOMBWA