COPPERBELT minister Japhen Mwakalombe on Wednesday shunned the Labour Day celebrations in Ndola.
And all four members of parliament in Ndola did not show up for Labour Day.
Meanwhile, the Ndola City Council only managed to display the US$1 million fire truck.
In Ndola, the marchpast to commemorate Labour Day started at Kansenshi Cemetery to Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.
In Mwakalombe’s absence, Copperbelt permanent secretary Bright Nundwe graced the occasion.
Zambia Federation of Employers representative David Lungu said the government had compromised education through continued delay in paying salaries.
“Government has compromised the quality of education because of delayed salaries of supporting staff in tertiary institutions. High taxes by the government is not the way to go. It is counter-productive,” Lungu said.
And ZCTU representative Newman Bubala bemoaned the high cost of living.
“Why should workers be threatened with dismissal when they demand for delayed salaries? The cost of living is so high and you can’t expect a worker to smile. Whosoever wakes up and starts to increase things without thinking should be ashamed, because there is no increase of workers’ salaries. The government should be more proactive and do the right thing to better the lives of the people. There is deepened poverty,” Bubala said.
“The levels of high public debt is a serious burden on the workers. Public funds can be abused with impunity without accountability.”
For his part, Nundwe said the government had created employment for the youths on the Copperbelt.
“We have the Kafulafuta Water Project, the ECL Mall in Kitwe, the Garden Court Hotel, the airport in Ndola, the Michael Sata Toll Plaza, all these are jobs that have been created by government for the youth,” said Nundwe.