Govt threatens to de-register moribund unions


NEWLY appointed Minister of Labour and Social Security Joyce Nonde-Simukoko has threatened to cancel the registration of trade unions that have been dormant.

Ms Nonde said her ministry will not hesitate to invoke Section 12 of the Industrial and Labour Relations Act which allows her to deregister and cancel the registration of dormant trade unions.

She said this yesterday after holding a one-hour meeting with the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president Nkole Chishimba, general secretary Cosmas Mukuka and officials from the Federation of Free Trade Unions of Zambia (FFTUZ) at her office.

Ms Nonde said the ministry expected every trade union to effectively represent its members and serve their interests.

“I wish to urge all trade unions that have remained dormant after registration to ensure that they reorganise themselves to avoid being de-registered and cancel the registration of trade unions that have been dormant for too long in addition to trade unions that wilfully violate the Act,” she said.

Ms Nonde called on all the trade unions to work together and promote decent work for all the workers in Zambia.

She said harmonious relationships were expected among trade unions as the law required them to form alliances before undertaking collective bargaining.

Ms Nonde said the Tripartite Consultative Labour Council (TCLC) provided, under Part 10 of the Industrial and Labour Relations Act, Cap 269 of the Laws of Zambia, for important and useful framework within which all the social partners comprising the Ministry of Labour, trade unions and employees were able to dialogue and achieve consensus on a wide range of issues affecting workers and employers.

“There is need to continuously forge and maintain good working relationships among all social partners in the interest of industrial harmony and productivity. The ministry is open to dialogue on all matters affecting employers and employees,” Ms Nonde said.

Meanwhile, Ms Nonde said the labour law reforms remained top priority for her ministry and Government would endeavour to source for funds to ensure that they were implemented.

She said Government had made strides in improving conditions of service for employees and shall continue to do so.

Ms Nonde said in line with the PF manifesto, some pieces of legislation had already been amended such as the Employment Act, Cap 268, that was amended by the employment Act no. 15 of 2015 which specifically aims at banning casualization.

“We call upon all social partners to work closely with my office to ensure that we achieve our desire to review all the pieces of legislation,” she said.

Ms Nonde said her ministry and government would endeavour to ensure that workers and employer’s rights were protected.

She said the ministry would ensure that employees enjoyed decent working conditions of freedom, equality, security and human dignity, adding that at the same time Government expected workers to be productive and contribute significantly to economic development.

In the field of labour, Ms Nonde said trade unions were vital partners in national development and should exert their strength in representing their members effectively.

“My ministry is anchored on a tripartite principle and it is expected that all partners embrace this principle in order to achieve greater social justice,” she said.