The Zambia Union of Financial Institutions and Allied Workers (ZUFIAW) has charged that the Pensions and Insurance Authority (PIA) has failed to manage the scandal at the Saturnia Regna Pension Fund, thereby proving its irrelevance to the industry.

In a statement issued yesterday by General Secretary Chingati Msiska, ZUFIAW observed that PIA had failed to intervene in the Saturnia crisis which started over a year ago.

“ZUFIAW is disappointed that Pensions and Insurance Authority (PIA) has been acting in a manner that is inimical to its mandate and wellbeing of the country. The Union is disappointed that PIA has since last year when the Saturnia Regna scandal emerged, failed to give clear guidance as a regulator on how it intends to resolve the matter,” Msiska said.

“ZUFIAW is shocked at the manner PIA is conducting itself as regard Saturnia. As a union, we are shocked at the manner this pension scheme has been managing worker’s contributions; but we are even more alarmed to see a regulator blatantly failing to live up to its mandate. We are now questioning its relevance to the industry and country. Based on its conduct so far, we are inclined to believe that there are a lot of hidden interests in the Saturnia scandal than what has been revealed,” Msiska said.

He accused PIA of abrogating the Collective Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding with the Union and its workers.

“The PIA management has been failing to pay workers some allowances as stipulated in the Collective Agreement. Management has also been interfering in worker’s right of association by stopping some of them from joining the Union despite not being in management, as provided for under the Industrial and Labour Relations Act,” said Msiska.

“The Union would not take kindly to such conduct and is urging management to promptly stop abrogating the Collective Agreement by paying workers what is due to them. The Union is further warning management to desist from stopping workers from joining the Union, failure to which ZUFIAW would consider some other remedies to address the matter.”