ZCTU PRESENTS SUBMISSIONS ON THE LABOUR BILL
By Admore Marambanyika
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has submitted input to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Labour public hearings on the Labour Amendment Bill as labour bemoans the slow pace of labour law reform which has dragged for more than 10 years.
The submission was presented to parliament and was buttressed at the various parliamentary portfolio meetings which were held countrywide by ZCTU representatives. The ZCTU is also worried about government sincerity in the protection of workers. One of its key demands is the harmonization of labour laws so that private and public workers are government by the same legislation.
Presenting the ZCTU position in Harare, ZCTU Northeastern regional chairperson Jokoniah Mawopa implored on parliamentarians to be firm on protection of workers’ rights in the areas of retrenchment, occupational safety and health, discrimination of all forms and child labour.
“The Bill must deal with the issue of forced labour and discrimination of workers on political grounds. There should be agreement on a realistic minimum wage figure. We propose that payment of retrenchment packages should be done within 30 days, not the proposed 60 days in order to preserve value in this hyperinflationary environment,” he submitted.
Other participants also raised issues around protection of women against discrimination at workplaces, sexploitation and maternity leave without compensation.
Prominent labour lawyer Munyaradzi Gwisai said parliament must consider aligning the bill to he whole constitution to wholesomely capture all labour related issues.
"Labour bill must be aligned to the whole constitution….broaden your memorandum," said Gwisai
Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Minerals Workers Union representative Simbarashe Taurai argued on protection of workers who engaged on legal strikes.
“Section 104 of the Bill lacks the acknowledgement of the principle of parity where the employer is allowed to apply the principle of no-work no-pay. There is no corresponding principle in favour of the employees. The Bill needs to be balanced.”