LINDA SOKO TEMBO writes GOVERNMENT should engage the Lusaka City Council (LCC) union leaders over delays in paying salaries, says Fire Services Union of Zambia (FIRESUZ) chairperson Julius Nkhoma. Mr Nkhoma said it was important that government engaged them whenever it had challenges to avoid protests from the workers. In an interview with the Sun, Mr Nkhoma said when government made resolutions with the union it should try by all means to adhere to them. “When government feels they have a challenge and they are not able to meet obligations, it should call our nation executive and explain whatever challenges it may be facing regarding the welfare of council workers,” he said. Mr Nkhoma cited the promise by government last month to give workers a double equalization fund which had not come to pass. Mr Nkhoma said if the union executive were informed in good time, it would be easy for them to inform the workers and make them understand why the salaries would be delayed for that particular month. He said because of the delayed salaries some workers complained that they had incurred huge debts on their loans which forced banks to deduct their money at once thereby leaving them with nothing.
“Despite government paying us, the same money was deducted by the banks because most of the workers have loans with the banks and insurance companies. The loans are causing us to get very little money as low as K200,” he said.