Statement by MDC Alliance Secretary for Labour Gideon Shoko in commemoration of International Workers’ Day.
Comrades and friends,
On this day, we recognise and appreciate the hard work and resilience that workers have shown under extremely difficult conditions.
Workers have had to bear the brunt of the harsh effects of a terrible pandemic compounded by a socio-political environment that is hostile to the rights and interests of the working class.
Wages have been eroded, particularly those of our teachers and frontline health workers. Working conditions have deteriorated. Job security is at an all-time low.
Mr Mnangagwa’s regime continues to violate workers rights with impunity. This is why Zimbabwe has been on the ILO agenda for violating workers’ rights for more than 10 years.
Our poor record has rendered us among the worst in the world, alongside Sudan and Burma on the issue of violating workers’ rights.
The Covid19 pandemic has presented unique challenges for workers. The few who are still employed work with inadequate personal protection equipment (PPE), inadequate or no medical aid cover, poor salaries that have been eroded by triple-digit inflation, policy inconsistencies from Government on the economy and the curtailment of the right to strike and fight for fair labour standards as enshrined in the Constitution.
To make matters worse, corruption and mismanagement of national resources continue unabated. Unemployment has exceeded 90% with no effort being made to address the joblessness crisis.
All this is taking place when the Tripartite Negotiating Forum, the platform where labour matters must be discussed and addressed has been rendered moribund.
We endorse the theme for this year’s May Day by the ZCTU which calls for an intensification of the fight for political, economic and social justice.
In line with our People’s Agenda, we call for the restoration of labour rights in all sectors of the economy, the introduction of policies that create jobs and the implementation of economic policies that enable workers to earn a living wage.