On Wednesday 23rd February 2011, the ZNFU Team led by Mr. Jervis Zimba met the Minister of Labour and Social Security where discussions were held on various concerns regarding farm labour and sought clarification and Government’s official position on the recently issued Statutory Instrument No. 2 on Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment Act.
The Minister assured the farming community that the Government is still committed to the continued existence of the Collective Bargaining Units and shall continue to uphold all conditions of employment emanating from collective bargaining as this is important to harmonious labour relations.
The Minister requested the ZNFU to clearly indicate in writing to the Ministry any grey areas in the wording of the new SI, which could be misinterpreted otherwise so that steps can be taken as soon as possible to rectify such anomalies. The ZNFU was impressed with the outcome of the meeting because Government position was made known that the wages and conditions of employment regulated under the collective agreement, i.e. ZFEA and NUPAAW will continue to be respected. The Minister appealed to the ZNFU to encourage the members to allow the formation of workers’ Unions at work places as this was the only way farm labour was going to be insulated from frequent minimum wage adjustments by the operation of the law.
In light of the above, the Union would like to request members to encourage formation of Unions at the work places so that the minimum wages will continue being regulated through the ZFEA negotiated minimum wage rates.
The ZNFU team comprised of the following:-
1) Mr. Jervis Zimba President
2) Mr. Dave Gordon 1st Vice President
3) Mr. Ashok Oza Director
4) Capt Chibuye (Rtd) Director
5) Mr. Richard Denly Chairman - ZFEA
6) Mr. Alex Kapisa ZNFU/ZFEA Labour Consultant
7) Mr. Chibanda Executive Director - ZFE
8) Mr. N. Ndambo Executive Director - ZNFU
9) Mr. Hamusimbi Head Outreach, Member Services & Admin,
The Minister’s delegation comprised of his Deputy Minister, Hon. Simon Kachimba and the Acting Permanent Secretary, Mr. Choobe.
Meanwhile, the scheduled meeting with the Minister of Finance and National Planning did not take yesterday 24th February 2011, as the Minister was reportedly out of town. Efforts are being made to schedule another date for the meeting as soon as possible.