REF: AMALGAMATED RURAL TEACHERS UNION OF ZIMBABWE (ARTUZ) NOTIFICATION OF AN IMMEDIATE INDEFINITE JOB ACTION DUE TO ECONOMIC HARDSHIPS
On Monday 14 October 2019, ARTUZ members across the country will engage in collective job action, protected by both the Constitution and the Labour Act.
Section 65 of Zimbabwe’s Constitution provides for the right to engage in collective job action for the working class as well as the right to a fair and reasonable wage.
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Section 104 subsection (4) of the Labour Act exempts workers from engaging in onerous processes of giving notice and getting clearance fro collective job actions under special circumstances. These special circumstances are when:
a) Workers face an occupational hazard which they reasonably fear poses an immediate threat to their health and safety; or
b) Workers are acting in defence of an immediate threat to the existence of a workers committee or trade union
There can be no doubt that both these special circumstances have been met and therefore that the job action is legally protected:
A) The threat to health or safety of teachers
- Teachers are on the brink of starvation due to salaries that are insufficient even for buying enough food for our families.
- Teachers fear the ongoing intimidation and harassment at schools.
B) The threat to the existence of the Union
- Our Union leaders and members are being abducted, tortured, harassed and intimidated in a sustained effort to destroy our Union.
- Our Union’s membership is being decimated as teachers are leaving the profession in droves as they simply cannot survive on the meagre wages they are being paid.
We, therefore, state that our members will engage in an indefinite job action until our needs are resolved. These chiefly involve but not limited to a living wage for our members that is pegged in USD or at the interbank rate.