The Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) defended its decision to end the strike by teachers. It made the decision citing safety concerns for its members.
PTUZ president Takavafira Zhou told Southern Eye that the union’s members could have lost their February salaries if they had persisted with the strike. Said Zhou:
The purpose of a trade union is to advance the interests of members and defend any gains made.
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Having advanced the interests of our members in a spirited two–days turn-up a week, one-day turn-up and four days stay away, the employer targeted our entrenched hardcore fighters for decimation.
The strategy was simply to withhold their February salaries. As much as we could have appealed to the courts against such a move, the wheels of justice do not turn so fast in Zimbabwe.
One of the reasons for suspending the industrial action was in order to protect our hardcore members, who were in their trenches and were about to be sprayed with poison gas.