By Own Correspondent
ALL is set for this year’s Workers Day celebrations which will be held across the country under the banner of the country’s leading labour body, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU).
Speaking to The Worker ahead of the maiden event, ZCTU national organiser, Michael Kandukutu said preparations have now reached an advanced stage.
“The event will be held under the theme, “Restoration of Workers’ Dignity” and in crafting this year’s theme, with the main event pencilled to take place at Dzivarasekwa Stadium, there is realisation that workers’ standard of living have 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 but we do have the right to strike in the Constitution, however, a close look will show you that the Labour 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,” he said.
He questioned the rationale behind paying Zim-dollars in a wholly dollarized economy and underscored that the past year has been one of the most difficult for workers due to the Covid-19 induced hardships which effectively sacrificed labour rights.
“You will note that our economy is now based on two clear classes that is the rich and the poor. There is no more middle class to talk about in this country, the only class that has registered quick growth is that of the working poor who increasingly find it difficult to move out of poverty,” said Kandukutu.
He said the other unfortunate observation over the past five years has been the entrenchment of working women and youths into deeper poverty.
“Policies and practices have worked against the working women, while the world is progressing we seem to be experiencing a regression. Hence our theme and unequivocal demand for the restoration of Workers Dignity,” he added.