By ALICE NACHILEMBE
The Ministry of Labour and Social Security bemoans lack of worker education by Trade Unions and affiliated bodies.
Assistant Labour Commissioner Charles Muwowo said that during the expedition, most workers expressed ignorance in their rights hence calling upon trade unions to sensitize their members.
“The challenge we find on most farms, was lack of worker education because if workers are unionized then it is the responsibility of the unions were they are affiliated to sensitize them,” He said.
Mr Muwowo said that some of the labour matters that workers reported even when their conditions of service are in accordance with the law, showed that there is a gap in-terms of interaction between the Unions and thier members.
He said that most farmers are unionized with Zambia Farm Employer Association who have signed a collective Agreement with National Union for Plantation Agriculture Allied Workers Union and other sector based Unions.
“Generally, what is on the ground is that for those that are under the collective agreements, there are few challenges.This is because, the employers themselves are affiliated with Zambia farm employers Association while employees are not unionised.This is the matter that the Ministry needs to address together with employers,” He noted.
Mr Muwowo indicated that the team also inspected some Abattoirs in Namwala and has since applauded ZAMBEEF for giving their employees good conditions of service and salaries which are above the Minimum wage.
In total, the labour inspectors conducted Seven (7) farm inspections in Choma and Four (4) Farm Inspections in Namwala Districts respectively.