Following the declaration of a 21-day lockdown by the government to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, most companies shut down, with their employees uncertain of their futures.
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) says the government and employers have to intervene to cushion workers. ZCTU president Peter Mutasa said:
Many workers were already earning low salaries that were not sufficient for food security. The lockdown, therefore, means that the majority of workers will starve during the period.
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We, therefore, urge the government and employers to intervene in various forms to mitigate the effects on workers. Firstly, all employers should pay full salaries for the period of lockdown.
The government should provide social security to workers earning low salaries as well as for informal traders and workers coming from companies that are really struggling.
The global pandemic has put thousands of jobs on the line worldwide and most governments have intervened with huge stimulus packages to prop up struggling businesses.
The United States government, for instance, has put together a US$2 trillion stimulus, while Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube announced several fiscal stimulus measures to mitigate the impact of coronavirus which analysts consider to be inadequate.