ILO in clarion call for intensified social dialogue as economic hardships worsen

By Own Correspondent

THE International Labour Organisation (ILO) says there is need for Zimbabwe to hasten social dialogue in the wake of rising joblessness and economic hardships.  

Speaking to workers gathered at Dzivarasekwa Stadium to commemorate the 2023 Workers Day, ILO Country Office for Zimbabwe and Namibia, Officer in Charge, Annamarie Kiaga decried rising unemployment and poor salaries paid to workers.  

“We need to create a momentum to leave no-one behind, and to ensure that social justice through decent work is prioritized in national policymaking and programmes, in development cooperation, and in financial, trade, and investment promotion and agreements.

 “Building a new social contract requires a commitment to inclusive and broad social dialogue.

 “Social dialogue helps ensure that our collective efforts through policies and programmes have broad acceptance and ownership. For example, wage negotiations that are bipartite or tripartite are far more effective in protecting the purchasing power of the most vulnerable in these inflationary conditions,” said Kiaga.

She decried that unemployment in Zimbabwe remains high with a total 100 000 Zimbabweans losing their jobs in the first quarter 2023 alone with the majority of those remaining in employment experiencing working poverty.

The ILO senior official called for the unleashing of greater investments in decent jobs, particularly in the green, digital and care economy, underscoring that such can only be realised through increased, coordinated, and coherent action.

 She said harnessing such opportunities s requires working together to build a new, and inclusive, social contract that ensures that every Zimbabwean benefits from the progress and prosperity of the country. 

“The ILO welcomes the opportunity to work with the Government of Zimbabwe, Worker Organisations, including the ZCTU, Employers bodies and all stakeholders to promote social justice through Decent Work.

“This also includes the contribution to the implementation of the objectives of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, as articulated in the National Development Strategy 1, the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, and the Decent Work Country Programme,” added Kiaga.

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