Ministry of Labour and Social Security says the strike by workers at Sinoma Cement Company was illegal as it was not in compliance with the law.
Speaking during a meeting at Sinoma cement plant in Lusaka, Labour Commissioner, Givens Muntengwa said the law demands that there must be a declared collective dispute between the employer and the employee before any strike action can be undertaken.
Muntengwa urged the workers to use the right channel of communication whenever they want to settle any labour disputes with their employer.
Labour office is not the final destination of handling employer-employee disputes as the law stipulates that when either of the parties is not satisfied with the resolution, they can always further present their issues in court,
Muntengwa further added that the labour broker of the workers, KSM management, has reinstatted the 20 workers that were dismissed last week following the illegal strike.
Meanwhile, Zambia Federation of Employees (ZFE) Executive Director, Harringtone Chibanda said the workers have no right to determine who Sinoma employs as their contractors.
The employees have resigned by their statement that they will not continue to work if KSM is still Sinoma’s contractor,
However, the decision to either continue working for Sinoma or not is entirely upto the employees themselves.
And KSM Chief Executive Officer CEO), Kelvin Sokuni said that if the employees have decided not to come back for work after reinstating them, the company will have no option but to replace them.
These employees have only been with us for four months, hence I do not see why they continue to demand for a salary increment even when our salary is above an employee’s minimum wage,
Sokuni said it is important that the employees follow the law for the smooth running of the company.
Sinoma workers have however continued to demand for the contract termination of KSM as their labour broker as it has subjected them to unfair deductions from their salaries.