Workers in Zimbabwe have indicated that they will soon embark on industrial action to compel the government to pay them in United States dollars and improve working conditions.
The president of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), Peter Mutasa told New Zimbabwe that it was rational to demand salaries in foreign currency since local businesses were also pricing their commodities in foreign currency.
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Mutasa is aware that the state would not allow workers to embark on industrial action particularly amid the coronavirus pandemic. He said:
State brutal force can only work for a short period, in a country where the majority cannot afford to buy food anymore, it is folly to avoid the crisis and rely on the use of force.
The use of the lockdown to trample upon workers’ freedoms especially the right to protest against bad working conditions is deplorable.
Mutasa’s remarks were echoed by the president of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), Obert Masaraure who contended that workers should be allowed to meet and demand better salaries, wages and working conditions since religious groups are being allowed to meet to worship.
Police recently arrested Victoria Chitepo nurses who were demonstrating against paltry salaries.
More: New Zimbabwe