The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions has in its message to mark the 13th World Day for Decent Work said the Zimbabwean government has condemned all workers into modern-day slavery. We present the statement in full below.
06 October 2020RE: STATEMENT TO MARK 13TH WORLD DAY FOR DECENT WORK
WEDNDESAY 7 OCTOBER 2020 is World Day for Decent Work (WDDW), a day workers across the globe stand up for decent work as they seek to build secure workplaces and better livelihoods.Trade unions under the banner of the ITUC are commemorating the day under the theme “A New Social Contract for Recovery and Resilience” to ensure the global economy can recover and to build the resilience required to meet the convergent challenges of the pandemic, climate change and inequality.A lot of work has been put in place by social partners towards the realization of decent work across the world but as we commemorate the 13th WDDW Zimbabwean workers are mourning the death of that dream. The precarious nature of employment for both public and private sector employees is a mockery to decent work. The government and employers are gradually dismantling the four pillars of decent work condemning virtually all workers into modern day slavery. Hope for economic recovery is fast fading under the clouds of corruption, mis-governance and lack of rule of law.We note that Employment Creation, Rights at Work, Social Protection and Social Dialogue have over the years been under attack and the Covid-19 pandemic has presented government and employers with lethal ammunition to disregard the pillars. Decent work deficits are deepening and the progress that had been achieved over the past decade is being decimated. Labour rights are being relegated to the periphery and massive arbitrary retrenchments have been rolled out particularly in the Hotel and catering industry. Social dialogue has been suppressed at all levels spearheaded by government which is dithering on fully constituting the Tripartite Negotiating Forum to set the tone for new social contract.Zimbabwe need a new social contract that would be central to charting the path to recovery from the effects COVID-19 as well as to building an economy of shared prosperity and sustainability but lack of political will remains a key barrier.This year, we are restricted from our usual gatherings to mark the commemorations due to the risk of spreading the virus. We will however continue to engage workers through other platforms. Our key message to workers in Zimbabwe is that the ZCTU would continue to push and demand for the realization of decent work standards, including decent wages, for workers despite the unprecedented assaults directed at it. Our demands for wages as per those workers earned as at August 2018 will remain our prime demand. We salute our nurses, teachers and all other sectors which are fighting for decent wages despite all the threats directed at them. Its time workers rally around decent work and chat a new beginning that secures a pro-poor people centred future.