President Jakaya Kikwete has directed all ministries and government institutions to ensure that workers’ councils are established to meet a legal obligation in public service. Mr Kikwete issued the directive when he met the representatives of workers’ unions at State House where various issues were discussed.
The representatives of workers from Trade Union Congress of Tanzania (Tucta) and Tanzania Teachers’ Union (TTU) asked the President to address workers’ grievances.
Mr Kikwete directed Chief Secretary Ombeni Sefue to remind ministries and other government institutions of their legal obligations.
He said the directive should be implemented by May 1, which is Labour Day.
The Head of State said he wanted to receive reports on the progress of the councils at the end of this year.
In the ten-hour meeting at State House, workers’ representatives talked at length about employment problems and the transfer of workers, among other issues. They also raised the red flag on public servants holding leadership positions in various workers’ unions.
Other issues that were discussed include the safety of workers in various companies, the cost of electricity for lowly paid workers, general welfare and tax imposed on salaries of workers. The “pay as you earn” tax in Tanzania is the highest in East Africa. Workers have for a long time been complaining and calling for a reduction of the tax.
President Kikwete said it was important that workers in all ministries participated fully to address issues that touched on their welfare.