THE Patriotic Front is a political party comprised of peasants who are usually in the humble economic class. Usually most of them are in economic activities where they sell their skills through informal and formal employment. Protection of the workers’ rights is among the ways to have a sustainable economy.
When the PF inherited Government one of the key complaints among the workforce was the issue of underpayment and in some instances even those who were employed were in unsustainable relationships.
The public service workers had lost the zeal to work owing to the poor conditions of service. For unionised employees, they were engaged in perpetual industrial dispute with their respective employers be it in the public or private sector. The nation still recall the massive strike action by the teachers that rocked the country in 2005 and 2009 were teachers went on strike for about three months.
It is on the basis of the challenges that the Patriotic Front government embarked on the reforms aimed at redeeming the labour force as it was one of the ways of ending destitution.
To date some of the reforms aimed at mainstreaming the employment and labour issues in the National Development Plans. This was one of the ways of ensuring the government policies were responsive to the challenges that the working class were facing.
Government has also come up with a regulatory framework in defining what constitute minimum wages.The government’s political will has culminated in ensuring security of tenure in the employment relationships and casualisation which has been a generational problem has been banned.
The government has amended labour legislations that includes the Factories Act, Employment Act and also legalised the employment codes into law.
It has also increased the numbers of Labour Inspectors and they have been decentralised to provinces and progressively into districts to be enforcing labour laws.
As it stands, a number of International Labour Organisation standards have been domesticated into law.
MARVIN CHANDA MBERI,