Chishimba condemns Pick n Pay slave wages

UPP leader Saviour Chishimba speaks to journalist in Lusaka-picture by Tenson Mkhala

United Progressive People (UPP) leader Saviour Chishimba has hailed Pick N Pay employees for going on a nationwide strike in protest of the K50 salary increment proposed by management.

And Chishimba has called on the Ministry of Labour to enforce the labour law compliance audits and adjust upwards, the minimum wage policy across all sectors to ensure that foreign companies localise job positions that Zambians can competently occupy.

In a statement, Chishimba noted that Zambia was not a fertile ground for slave wages and cautioned management not to victimise any worker because of the the strike.

“We, in the United Progressive People (UPP), fully support and stand with the suffering workers of Pick n Pay who are protesting against slave wages. In the same breathe, we noted that negotiations for better pay were underway, but we categorically urged management to grant all the workers not less than K1, 000 salary increments across the board. This is a reasonable proposal because the evidence before us shows that some of the workers get as little as K400 per month, Pick n Pay cannot pay this amount to workers in South Africa,” Saviour stated.

“We seize this occasion to sternly warn Pick n Pay management that Zambia is not a fertile ground for slave wages. The workers demands are fair and genuine and no single worker should be victimised as a result of the strike action and we are closely monitoring the situation.”

Chishimba further called on the Ministry of Labour to enforce the labour law compliance audits and adjust upwards, the minimum wage policy across all sectors.

“We seriously urge the Ministry of Labour to enforce the labour law compliance audits and adjust, upwards, the minimum wage policy across all sectors. The Ministry must also ensure that all other foreign companies Zambianise accountancy and all other positions that Zambians can competently occupy. We also urge tax authorities to charge penalties against Pick n Pay for all the historic tax evasions that they did using the NGO for dubious acts of lawlessness. Pick n Pay has been making huge profits in Zambia and they must share the revenues with Zambia through fair pay and full tax compliance,” he stated.

And Chishimba stated that his party would fully enforce all labour laws as well as index the minimum wage to the basic needs basket if at all he was given chance to rule the country.

“We also applauded the decision to terminate the contract of a worker who was working in accounts as well as leading an NGO which management had been using for many years to casualise Zambians in the name of helping the vulnerable. A fortnight ago, UPP commended Pick n Pay management for acting on our recommendation to Zambianise accountancy positions because our country has competent and qualified accountants.”

“The future UPP Government, God willing, will fully enforce all labour laws as well as index the minimum wage to the Basic Needs Basket. Zambian workers will be the most dignified and respected in the region,” stated Saviour.

Mirriam Chabala

About Mirriam Chabala

Mirriam Chabala is a Zambian journalist who covers current affairs and writes in-depth feature articles on social issues.
Email: mirriam [at] diggers [dot] news

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