FEAR by public and quasi-public workers to protest delayed salaries is an insult to Zambia’s forefathers who sacrificed so much to gain independence in 1964, Sean Tembo has said. The opposition Patriots for Economic Progress leader made the remarks in a statement to mark Labour Day which fell on Wednesday.
Tembo said Zamia’s forefathers had fought for independence to ensure all Zambians enjoyed the liberties which were now being denied by the Patriotic Front government.
“Your cowardice shall have no reward apart from continued poverty and suffering for you and your offspring,” he stated.
Tembo urged Zambian public workers not to allow themselves to be taken for granted or intimidated by their employer by delaying the payment of their salaries.
“Public and quasi-public workers must always be ready and willing to stand up and step forward to protest any kind of abuse by their employer, in the strongest terms possible under the law,” he advised.
He stated just like the workers have a duty and obligation to render their labour to their employer, the employer equally had a duty and obligation to pay the remuneration for such labour so rendered by the workers on a timely basis and in full.
“We are fully aware that workers from a number of grant-aided parastatals and government agencies have not received their salaries for several months now, without any explanation from their employer,” Tembo stated.
“This constitutes a blatant violation of the rights of workers and the workers involved must not be shy to come out in the open and protest against this abuse.”
He observed that the duty to safeguard the rights of their salaries, lay with the public workers themselves and warned that they must not entirely rely on labour unions who had probably been compromised and no longer genuinely represented the workers.
“Therefore, each individual worker must work towards the protection of their rights against abuse by their employer, which abuse includes late and partial payment of salaries,” said Tembo.