By Own Correspondent
THE Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has stood in solidarity with the country’s workers, underscoring that they remain shattered by “innumerable challenges” afflicting them amid calls for the government to repeal draconian legislation which violates trade union rights.
The remarks were made to commemorate the 2023 Workers Day event recognized annually every year.
“On this International Workers Day, which is commemorated every year on May 1, ZLHR recalls the historic struggles, commitment and extraordinary sacrifices made by local and global workers that ushered in hard-won gains.
“ZLHR salutes workers for their sacrifice in upholding the critical values of social justice and for demanding respect for fundamental rights at workplaces and their determination to build a better future,” the legal rights group said.
The ZLHR paid tribute to workers, particularly first responders who have been on the frontlines providing essential goods and services and helping keep people safe during the outbreak of the devastating pandemic.
They said while the Coronavirus appears to be receding, ZLHR is outraged by the unending pandemic which is the deepening erosion of workers’ rights and fundamental freedoms.
“We note with particular concern the persecution and prosecution of teacher trade unionists, ordinary workers and individual citizens, which in most cases has failed to yield anything tangible in terms of convictions as they have been acquitted after standing trial on flimsy charges.
“Of great concern to ZLHR too is the recent enactment of the Health Services Amendment Act, which outlaws industrial action by healthcare workers lasting more than three days and requires them to provide a written notice of 48 hours before a job action begins,” said ZLHR.
ZLHR condemned the enactment of such a draconian law and the unjustified and punitive sanctions it imposes on healthcare workers as they are contrary to freedoms of expression, assembly and association, which are fundamental freedoms enshrined in sections 61 and 58 of the Constitution.