Saturday, March 10, 2012

Zambia Sugar's defiance on fired workers angers Mazabuka PF

Zambia Sugar's defiance on fired workers angers Mazabuka PF
By Henry Chibulu in Mazabuka
Sat 10 Mar. 2012, 12:57 CAT

THE Patriotic Front in Mazabuka district is not happy with Zambia Sugar management for refusing to heed labour deputy minister Rayford Mbulu's directive to immediately reinstate the dismissed general workers.

And Mazabuka member of parliament Garry Nkombo says Zambia Sugar management should not use legality to punish the fired employees because management also erred. Nkombo said the company should reinstate the workers unconditionally in order to promote industrial harmony.

Last week, Mbulu gave company management a 24-hour ultimatum to reinstate the casual workers who were protesting against a decision to reduce daily rate from K63,773 to K31,773.

But Patriotic Front district chairperson Gift Hanziba said the stubbornness of the company management was regrettable and would not be entertained by the ruling party.

Hanziba said the company management should be courageous and accept that it made a mistake instead of being defensive on violation of workers' rights.

He complained that the affected casual workers had been warned not to step foot at the company offices by director of human resources, Doreen Kabunda, despite the government ordering her to ensure they reported back to work.

"We wonder who Zambia Sugar Company is going to listen to since the directive by government has been rejected by management. What the company management should appreciate is that you do not antagonise yourselves with government because it's a key stakeholder as far as policy issues are concerned. In fact, most companies respect government directives because it is only sad that Zambia Sugar does not want to abide by the directives," he said.

Hanziba urged the Ministry of Labour to take necessary action against the company for refusing to respect government directives.

Zambia Sugar Corporate Affairs director Lovemore Sievu refused to comment on the matter.

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