The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has bemoaned poor remuneration and deteriorating working conditions for the majority of workers ahead of the 2022 Workers Day commemorations.
ZCTU’s national organiser, Michael Kandukutu said the local commemorations will be held under the theme, “Restoration of Workers Dignity“.
Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com, Kandukutu claimed that workers don’t have the right to strike as long the Labour Act Chapter 28:01 has not been realigned to the constitution. He said:
In crafting this year’s theme, with the main even pencilled to take place at Dzivarasekwa stadium, there is the realisation that workers’ standard of living has ghastly gone down, owing to the slave wages that they are earning on the back of the prevailing environment which is not conducive for collective bargaining.
There can be no meaningful collective bargaining when workers do not have the right to strike.
Some may argue that we do have the right to strike in the Constitution, however, a close look will show you that the Labor Act Chapter 28:01 and other enabling pieces of legislation have not been realigned to the constitution and thus opens up workers to the kind of abuse that we are seeing today.
Kandukutu said 2021 had been one of the most difficult years for workers due to COVID-19-induced hardships that drove more workers deeper into poverty.
He said it is unfair to continue paying workers their wages in Zimbabwe dollars in a wholly dollarised economy.
The majority of Zimbabwean workers, including civil servants, are paid salaries way below the Total Consumption Poverty Line.
The world over, the Workers Day is commemorated on 1 May each year.