Zambia: Shamenda to Localise ILO Convention 158

LABOUR and Social Security Minister Fackson Shamenda has said he will ensure ILO Convention 158 on termination of employment is domesticated to protect workers against unfair termination of contracts by employers.

Speaking on Tuesday when he paid a courtesy call on International Labour Organisation (ILO) director general Guy Ryder in his office here, Mr Shamenda said he wanted employers to give reasons for terminating employment unlike the current situation where either party was at liberty to terminate contracts without giving reasons.

Mr Shamenda is in Geneva, Switzerland, to attend the 320th session of the ILO governing body. He said Convention 158 was dear to his heart because workers should be protected against some employers who terminate contracts unfairly. Mr Shamenda thanked Mr Ryder for visiting Zambia last December, saying his visit had cemented the relationship between the ILO and Zambia.

He said President Sata's priority was job creation as one of the avenues to fight poverty. He briefed Mr Ryder on the progress the Ministry of Labour and Social Security was making in the labour and employment sector which included the review of the country's labour laws.

And Mr Ryder said he had a clear idea of the ambitious agenda the Zambian Government had for the labour sector and assured of support to its programmes. He thanked Zambia for ratifying five ILO Conventions, one of which pertains to labour inspections, and for the country's commitment to Convention 158 on employment termination.

My Ryder officially introduced ILO regional director for Africa, Aeneaus Chuma. He said Mr Chuma had joined ILO at a critical time when the organisation was in the process of building its presence in the African region. Mr Chuma previously worked in Zambia as resident coordinator for the United Nations Development Programme.

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