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President calls for fair pay of workers, praises trade unions

Written by on May 1, 2024

President Nangolo Mbumba has called on employers to provide equitable pay and a safe and conducive work environment for workers.

In his speech to commemorate International Workers’ Day on Wednesday, president Mbumba said social justice and decent work are not mere ideals, but essential rights.

“It is crucial that we put in relentless effort to create a society that values, safeguards and provides equitable pay, secure working environments and chances for individual and career development for every worker,” he said.

He noted that trade unions emerged as key players during the liberation struggle, rallying workers and advocating for improved working conditions, fair wages and the right to organise.

“In the face of adversity, trade unions became the voice of the marginalised, tirelessly advocating for justice and fairness in workplaces across the country. Their unwavering resilience not only shaped the labour landscape but also laid the foundation for a more equitable society.”

President Mbumba said the government has taken deliberate steps to safeguard workers’ rights and protect their welfare across all sectors by enacting robust laws and policies.

However, despite the strides made, the labour sector is still confronted by challenges, he added.

These include unemployment disproportionately affecting youth, inflation that affects workers’ livelihoods, informal employment and job insecurity.
“As the nation continues its journey towards sustainable development and prosperity, I implore all stakeholders to direct their efforts towards ensuring the full realisation of labour rights. We must intensify our efforts to foster an environment that treats every worker with dignity, respect and fairness,” he said.

Mbumba urged the nation to envision a society where all workers rights are protected and where labour is valued.

International Workers Day, also known as Labour Day, is commemorated every year on 1 May in honour of working people and is meant to campaign for decent work and fair pay.

This year’s theme is, ‘Social Justice and Decent Work for All’, which is a call to action to remind the world of the importance of creating a fair, inclusive and equitable society where every individual has access to dignified work and a decent standard of living.

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