Union and tour operators in Mfuwe fail to agree on service charge

A union in the tourism industry and some tour operators in Mfuwe have hit a deadlock on negotiations for improved conditions of service.
Hotel Catering Tourism and Allied Workers Union of Zambia say that some tour operators have refused to increase salaries on the pretext that they are not making profit.
Regional Secretary, Zephaniah Kaleya told Breeze News that the tour operators are also reluctant to pay service charge to their workers.
Mr. Kaleya stated that it has been difficult to seriously engage the tour operators because owners of most of these companies are based outside the country.
He says that the union has now decided to engage government which can be able to establish through ZRA, the Zambia Revenue Authority how these businesses are performing.
Mr. Kaleya further stated the union has given the tour operators up to the end of this month to ensure that they pay service charge to workers or revise their minimum wage to not less than 2,500 Kwacha.

Meanwhile government’s intention to acquire a new Euro bond worth 2 billion US dollars has been criticized.
In a statement availed to Breeze News, CSPR Provincial Coordinator, Maxson Nkhoma says that this is because of the high budget deficit of 20 billion Kwacha.
Mr. Nkhoma charged that such an action will only undermine the efforts to reduce poverty in Zambia stating that government will be more obliged to service debt as opposed to provide public service essential for the people living in poverty.
He says that the logical reaction for government to do after noting a reduction in its domestic resource mobilization efforts, would be to reduce the budget expenditure by prioritizing projects and cutting down on wasteful expenditure instead of borrowing.
Mr. Nkhoma says that government should consider cutting down on its expenditure on foreign and local trips being made by government officials such as Cabinet Ministers.
He further called for a halt to implementation of projects which were not planned for in the 2015 National Budget stating that they have the potential to distort figures and cause pressure on the 2015 national budget.
Mr. Nkhoma says that it is unacceptable that Zambia stands among the 20% of countries with the highest public expenditure in terms of emoluments given the current budget challenges and the size of the public service.
He said that there is a likelihood of default on the part of the government on its debt obligations especially the Eurobonds, which could lead to penalties through high default interest rates and dent its ability to raise revenue on the international financial markets.

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