Wage Freeze Illegal, says Federation of Employers
The Zambia Federation of Employers has rendered shock solidarity with public service workers over the controversial wage freeze saying it is illegal.
ZFE president George Chabwera has said the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions was justified in reminding government that the wage freeze was illegal following a court ruling during the Frederick Chiluba regime.
Chabwera said it was wrong to ignore the court ruling as it had laid a clear guide on the matter.
“For sure there is a Supreme Court ruling, so that ruling is quite key we cannot just abandon it,” Chabwera said.
He however said the workers’ body should have tabled the matter before stakeholders before taking a position.
“What the ministry is saying is that ZCTU should have brought the matter to the tripartite consultative meeting last week on Tuesday,” he said.
“As ZFE we were hoping that this matter could actually come so that we could discuss it. But even if it did not come we urge the government and others to engage in social dialogue and others are willing to conciliate on the matter.”
Government has imposed a two year wage and recruitment freeze.
Chabwera said that a pay rise for workers would also serve his organization with increased funds.
“For us as employers when there is tax relief on workers, it actually helps us because the truth of the matter is we appreciate that the tax exempt threshold is standing at K3, 000 but to move it to K4, 000 will actually enable our workers take more in their pockets which is also more for us as employers even it means that the pressure to demand for more salaries to support the ZCTU will be increased from the current K3, 000 to K4, 000,” he said.