By Staff Reporter
A new union, the National Health and Allied Workers Union of Zimbabwe (NHAWUZ) has been formed to service workers in the private medical industry.
Speaking to The Worker, the union’s interim general secretary Innocent Furidze, said the NHAWUZ will serve workers employees in private health institutions, nursing homes, pharmacies, radiographers and workers employed in Red Cross Institutions.
“We are targeting employees in the private health practice that have remained largely unrepresented. Our scope also includes occupational safety and health practitioners in the private sector. We came up with the idea to form this union after realising that most employees in the sector were working under precarious conditions and needed representation,” he said.
He said the union had about 600 members but was hopeful that membership would increase as they were scaling up their recruitment efforts.
“We are a fairly new union, with less than a year in operation so we are targeting to recruit about 15 000 members across the country in the near future. NHAWUZ was formed in September 2020 and got registered with the ministry of labour in January 2021. Our potential membership is 15000 and we have a lot work to do as regards organising the unorganized. Some employees in the sector are getting as little as $500.00 RTGS ( $50.00 USD) per month. Low wages are a challenge and as a union we are geared to improve them,” he said.
Furidze said NHAWUZ was aiming to get a seat in the existing national employment council in the industry.
“The union will ensure for that desire to either establish such an employment council appropriate for the private sector. Yes we know there is an NEC but it takes the Union to ensure that a demand for total inclusion is promoted,” he said.
He said as part of efforts to join other workers, the union plans to affiliate to the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions.