- “We are expecting those that transport dangerous goods to be given a minimum wage of K5, 000 considering the risks involved to transport these dangerous chemicals that include fuel, acids and other chemicals,”
By PETER SICHALI
WE welcome the minimum wage for truck and bus drivers but we would like it to be increased to at least K5, 000 for tanker drivers, says Tanker Drivers and Allied Workers’ Union of Zambia president, Bob Ndalama.
And Mr Ndalama has urged the government to stop giving licences to employers that refuse their workers from joining unions.
Mr Ndalama said the new minimum wage of K3, 000 and K2, 200 was not fair for tanker drivers that transport dangerous goods and chemicals.
“We are expecting those that transport dangerous goods to be given a minimum wage of K5, 000 considering the risks involved to transport these dangerous chemicals that include fuel, acids and other chemicals,” Mr Ndalama said.
He said some tanker drivers were already getting more than the new minimum wage.
Mr Ndalama however said the move by Government to increase the minimum wage by over 100 percent is a demonstration of its commitment to improve the wellbeing of drivers.
Mr Ndalama said the move to revise the minimum wage will help a lot of drivers most of whom were getting K1, 000 or less.
“This is a very good move especially for our colleagues who were getting K1, 500 or less so this move will help improve their living standards and we are grateful to the government,” Mr Ndalama said.
He said there were a lot of companies that used to pay peanuts to drivers.
Mr Ndalama said despite not giving the tanker drivers a minimum wage they desired they were happy the government has responded to the cries of setting the minimum wage for drivers who have for a long time been exploited.
Mr Ndalama said a lot of employers are refusing their employees from joining the union and that government should act by not giving operating licences to such employers.
He said Government should now undertake inspection to ensure compliance with the minimum wage.
Government has increased the minimum wage for truck and bus drivers from K1, 500 to K3, 000 and K1, 000 to K2, 200 respectively.
Minister of Labour and Social Security Joyce Simukoko signed a statutory instrument on Friday to effect the K3, 000 and K2,200 minimum wage for truck and bus drivers respectively.