ZABS workers declare dispute with management over salary hike

ZAMBIA Bureau of Standards unionised employees say they are very frustrated by management’s failure to award a 20 per cent salary increment as the cost of essential commodities have reached unacceptable proportions.

According to a press statement issued by Zambia Bureau of Standards Workers Union president Baison Mtonga, the workers had presented a demand letter to Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) management on May 6, 2016 containing proposals to amend the current collective agreement that was signed with the workers’ union.

He stated that a 50 per cent salary increment across the board for unionised employees, mutual separation and risk allowance, among other demands, were agreed.

“However, our demands were only responded to by Zambia Bureau of Standards management on 14 July, 2016 [and] this delay showed that management was not willing to proceed to negotiate,” Mtonga stated.

He added that as a last resort, the workers’ union downsized its salary demand to 20 per cent with the possibility of management agreeing but that no counter offer was given.

“The union further maintains its position that management awards the unionised employees 20 per cent salary adjustment,” Mtonga stated.

“The labour commissioner has since been informed of this new development. The union will endeavour to follow all the procedures as laid down in the industrial and labour relations Act CAP 269 of the Laws of Zambia and Act No. 8 OF 2008 as amended. The unionised employees are very frustrated by management failure to award salary increment as the cost of essential commodities has reached unacceptable proportions. As if that is not enough, Pay As You Earn was increased by government from 35 per cent to 37.5 per cent for those earning above K6, 200, further reducing our salaries and stressing our already stressed income,” stated Mtonga who further warned ZABS management against sustaining its growing tendency of firing unionised employees without justification. “…the union will no longer accept this with folded arms.”

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