Govt condemns NUMSA

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 09:56:38 +0000



GOVERNMENT takes great exception to the alleged proposal by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) to launch a campaign to boycott Zambian goods and end South Africa trade with Zambia if the perceived harassment of Mr. Fred M’membe and his wife Mutinta continued, Ministry of Labour and Social Security Public Relations Officer Matthews Mudenda has charged.

He said that the ministry responsible for all labour related issues including trade unions operating in the country found the position taken by NUMSA through its General Secretary Mr. Irvin Jim, not only strange but malicious.

Mr Mudenda disclosed that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security would soon write to the South African Government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to officially complain against NUMSA and Mr. Jim.

“We are convinced that the misinformed and ill-conceived position by NUMSA is a failed attempt which was calculated to strain the cordial and warm relations that exist between the sister Republics of Zambia and South Africa,” he said.

Mr Mudenda advised Mr. Jim and his organisation to learn to consult local sister institutions before making statements that did not only bring into disrepute the name and leadership of the union but also interfered with the sovereignty of Zambia as a nation.

The ministry commended the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and the National Union of Public and Private Educators of Zambia (NUPPEZ) for rising to the occasion to defend the sovereignty of the country and its institutions.

Meanwhile, has described as alarming reports that Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) was demanding for Grade 12 certificates from the 300 workers the mining company retrenched in 2015 as a condition for re-engagement.

Mr Mudenda said Government would, however, not accept a situation where this requirement was extended even to employees whose jobs did not require that qualification.

“This demand is not only unfortunate but unfair on the part of the former workers who diligently served the mining company for a long time,” he said.

Mr Mudenda said the Government had no problem with the mining firm asking for the Grade 12 certificates from former employees who were earlier engaged using that qualification, saying if that was the requirement in their job descriptions.

Government has since appealed to management at Mopani to rescind its decision and re-engage the company’s former employees without attaching such hash and discriminatory conditions, adding that the management should always strive at making decisions that did not create unnecessary frictions.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security assured that it would closely follow events at MCM to ensure that the right things were done.

“We also wish to commend the Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) and the National Ex-Miners and Allied Workers Association of Zambia (NEAWAZ) for taking the initiative to engage MCM management on the matter, and assure them that Government supports the position on the matter,” Mr Mudenda said.


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