By SYLVESTER MWALE –
THE Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has called on its affiliates to reject the proposal by Higher Education Minister Nkandu Luo to remove unions from university councils at the three public universities.
ZCTU deputy general secretary Elaston Njovu said the decision to remove the three union representatives at the public universities was wicked and should not be allowed to happen.
Mr Njovu was speaking at the official opening of the Zambia United Local Authorities Workers Union (ZULAWU) quadrennial conference in Kabwe at the weekend.
He said speaking about the injustices, including delayed payment of salaries, should not be perceived as being an enemy of the State and urged the union leaders to be united on issues affecting their employees.
“It’s sad that employers are working hard to destroy the union. At CBU (Copperbelt University) and the other two public universities, Professor Nkandu Luo has pushed a document to Cabinet which is proposing the removal of the union from the councils, meaning the three unions at CBU and UNZA will have no representation,” Mr Njovu said.
“Please, if the media are here, capture this: We want to call that kind of move as wickedness and we want to condemn it as evil, as unions. They are testing waters and next it will be you and at the end we will not have the union.”
Mr Njovu said he was at pains to understand that the unions were quiet when some employees had gone for months without pay.
He said that many ZULAWU members in various councils across the country were suffering and urged the union leaders to help them in order to help the efforts of the Government in providing services to the citizens.
Earlier, All Municipal and Public Services Workers, the union of Turkey’s Ali Riza Yilmaz, urged the union preventatives to be strong in advocating the workers’ rights.
Mr Yilmaz said the union in Turkey was strong and had continued to recruit members and that it would like to strengthen its relationship with its Zambian counterpart.