Reward workers, President Chamisa challenges Mnangagwa
Tinashe Sambiri | The chairman of the Citizens’ Coalition for Change, President Nelson Chamisa, said the country’s tireless workers should be rewarded for enduring harsh conditions.
In his statement on Workers’ Day, President Chamisa paid tribute to those who have fought tirelessly for workers’ rights.
He described the late founding chairman of the MDC, Dr Morgan Tsvangirai, as an advocate for workers’ rights.
President Chamisa has accused Mr Mnangagwa’s administration of ignoring the plight of workers.
See the statement below:
PAYING WORKERS A LIVING WAGE:
WORKERS DAY is a special day to appreciate, salute and celebrate the incredible efforts, resilience and endurance of all hardworking workers who have given and continue to give their sweat and blood to build our great ZIMBABWE even in times difficult.
The historic struggle and militant tradition of the labor movement in ZIMBABWE has won us many victories that we still enjoy today. Remember Burombo, Masotsha Ndlovu, Jamela, Mzingeli, Nkomo, Sibanda, Tsvangirai, Matombo, Nkiwane, Chibebe and Mutasa.
On this day, we remember that everything was won through the struggle and sacrifice of working citizens. A standing ovation to all the workers who drive the show and our nation forward. Workers are the backbone of any nation, being the turbines of history and the architects of any society.
The current “real market” exchange rate is 400 ZWL to 1 USD, which effectively means that workers’ wages are being seriously eroded by inflation and the currency spiral, but the authorities are unwilling to give workers a decent living wage.
The workers are suffering. Transportation is a nightmare. Salaries are meager. Salaries are insufficient. Prices are skyrocketing. Recent statistics from Zimstat show annual inflation in April 2022 jumped to 96.6% as authorities failed to give a corresponding wage increase.
The punitive economic environment has been so toxic to people in the informal sector (as their working capital is eroded by spiraling exchange rates and inflation) who have tried to make ends meet in the face of high unemployment greater than 90%;
Similarly, the ability of employers to pay real wages to workers has been limited by draconian government policies that include, among others, excessive distortions and corruption, punitive exchange rate regimes, and excessive taxation;
We have advised many times and continue to advise these authorities to give workers decent and decent wages, but the appeal falls on deaf ears, closed minds and stone hearts. Dollarize so that workers earn decent wages and increase aggregate domestic demand.
Likewise, workers are failing to put a decent meal on the table and many are now in the poverty bracket. Some workers cannot afford to buy a loaf of bread a day. Our teachers cannot send their children to a standard boarding school and the same teacher is expected to teach the children of other parents?
Consume a social contract and massive labor law reforms.
Domestication of ILO conventions that affect workers’ conditions.
Cessation of abuse of workers by exploitative local and foreign employers. Protect workers against all forms of violence and violation.
We will undertake massive reforms of public enterprises with a view to positioning them as catalysts and key players in economic transformation and job creation.
d) The reinforcement of the TNF so that it becomes a serious vector of negotiation for the Govt, the Employers & the Employees.
As a new government, we guarantee the following:
A decent, living wage. A minimum starting salary of USD 540 for the lowest civil servant;
An enabling environment that promotes business growth and attracts domestic and foreign investment – the main levers for job creation.
Enshrine workers’ rights in the constitution, including the right to protest, freedom of association, collective bargaining and decent working conditions, including for public sector workers.
We have reviewed the 2009 ILO Commission of Inquiry and our government will fully implement all recommendations.
We are losing a lot of workers to deaths, illnesses and injuries on the job. We will seek to significantly reduce this by ratifying and nationalizing Convention 187 to promote a safe and healthy working environment.
Salute to all workers who work tirelessly and patriotically every day to bring peace, sanity, friendship and happiness to their nations, families and societies. Happy International Workers’ Day!
Domestic workers are workers. Our government will quickly ratify and domesticate Convention 189 to protect domestic workers and promote decent work for this important but mistreated group of workers.
We looked at both the Labor Amendment Bill and the Health Services Amendment Bill. They are all insufficient and take away the freedoms and rights of workers. .
Give the workers their wages before their sweat dries! Better days are coming! A new great ZIMBABWE is loading…! May God bless all workers. God bless ZIMBABWE God bless Africa!
The key to providing a decent wage, restoring the dignity of workers and getting rid of the rotten and parasitic old system that sucks the lives of workers is to elect a citizen government that puts the welfare of workers first and gives priority to dignity at the heart of governance and all political decisions.
A worker is a maker. Let’s make ZIMBABWE great. Workers’ Day is for all workers. Let’s all work for change in ZIMBABWE, register to vote or encourage another to register to vote. Let us work to build our great country – A New Great ZIMBABWE in our lifetime.