Ndola July 03rd 2022. …The Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Brenda Mwika Tambatamba has advised Neelkanth Lime to improve employee working conditions or risk suspension of work.
Ms. Tambatamba has urged the company to prioritise the improvement of workers’ welfare and ensuring promotion of good health at work.
The Minister was saddened to see how the company is subjecting its employees to poor Occupation, Health and Safety environment such as dirty toilets, unsafe resting place, dirty kitchen area and sorroundings among other things.
Honourable Tambatamba could not hide her disappointment after touring the plant and interacting with workers, especially that she discovered that some of the workers were having lunch at 16:00 hours, an act she did not take lightly.
The Ministry has since instructed the company to rectify all contraventions in less than two weeks, of which a follow-up inspection will be conducted and if the company does not comply, it will lead to stiffer measures of suspending operations.
Ms. Tambatamba has further learnt that the company currently has about 2,500 employees among which 42 are expatriates.
She has since advised the company to give more jobs to qualified Zambians and consider labour importation only with necessary and rare skills that are not on the labour market for a specified period so as to allow the process of skills transfer as a way to promote Zambianisation.
She urged Neelkanth management to support the Zambianization programme which is the promotion of jobs and skills transfer to the local people.
Meanwhile, Mine Contractors Factory and Allied Workers Union General Secretary, Levy Chimfwembe, has called on the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to consider revising section 75 of the Employment Code Act. No. 3, 2019 and provide interpretations that will be understood the same way by all employers and employees.
Mr. Chimfwembe further revealed that most companies are hiding in sub-contracting laws and end up employing very few workers, making it difficult to affiliate the employees to Trade Unions due to smaller numbers.
Earlier on, the Minister toured National Health Insurance Management Authority (NHIMA) , National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) and Workers Compensation Control Fund Board (WCFCB) stands at the on-going 56th Zambia International Trade Fair.
She mentioned that it is important to develop organised systems in this fast changing world to meet the standards of the various workplaces especially that the country is focusing on wooing more investors.
Ms.Tambatamba noted that this calls for investments that will provide good working conditions and conducive environments for employees and adherence to the rule of law as prescribed according to the labour laws.
The Minister emphasised that this is the surest way by which the Government will grow the economy by arresting the negative indicators.
Ministry of Labour and Social Security.