Our country is currently going through unprecedented times, jobs are being lost, working conditions are deteriorating, job insecurity is high, poverty is rapidly increasing. And today, on Labour Day, May Day, our people are reminded that they are steering through not only the Covid-19 pandemic but also the jobs crisis with inept, greedy and dishonest leadership.
Let’s not forget that Labour Day started when Chicago police massacred workers and revolutionaries who were fighting for an eight-hour workday. Back then, workers drudged through ten, twelve-hour shifts.
Today many workers in this country face the same long hours at dangerous work and still barely make enough money to get by.
But for some of us, instead of working too much, we can’t find work at all.
This has to change. Change must come. We have to struggle for a better order, a better society. And all need to participate, play a role.
A strong labour movement is needed and remains crucial to us. Union membership is falling, and organised labour is becoming marginalised. Workers’ concerns are not addressed, and they feel bewildered, leaderless and helpless. Not surprisingly, they turn to crooked politicians that pander to their fears and insecurity, but offer no realistic solutions or inspiring leadership to improve their lives.
Clearly, an apolitical approach to trade union issues can’t do. Organised labour must be part of the mass movement for the struggle for a more just, more fair, more humane and peaceful Zambia.
It gets dark sometimes but the morning comes. Let’s not lose hope; a better Zambia is possible if we struggle for it. And it’s our duty to struggle for it.
Let all the workers of this country join the struggle for a socialist Zambia.
Issued by Fred M’membe on behalf of the Politburo of Socialist Party
Garden Compound, Lusaka