The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)’s African Regional Organisation on Wednesday said the International Labour Organisation (ILO)’s allegations that government was guilty of various labour violations were true and urged it to implement the recommendations as soon as possible.
The results of ILO’s February commission of inquiry on trade union grievances implicated government of infringing on freedom of association and collective bargaining and anti-union persecution.
“We know that governments do many things at the same time. We expect the work on the recommendations to start now. Government should respect its honour to implement the recommendations,” ITUC Africa general-secretary Kwasi Adu Amankwah said during a special labour conference organised by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU).
“Despite the government’s acceptance of ILO’s findings and recommendations, there can be no complacency and the Special conference pledged not to let the recommendations remain a dead letter.
Trade union representatives from around Africa and the rest of the world support the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union’s (ZCTU) struggle for the full implementation of all recommendations.”
The ILO report, titled Truth, Reconciliation and Justice in Zimbabwe, confirmed ZCTU’s allegations of repeated and severe trade union rights violations and recommended that government ends the persecutions and bring its laws in conformity with ILO conventions.
The report also recommended that a Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission be established to ensure the full restoration of rule of law and train social partners and officials for key institutions such as the courts and security sector in rights awareness.
Amankwah also implored government to withdraw all court cases against ZCTU, urging it to immediately halt further harassment of trade unionists.
“The special conference deplores the lack of an employment-driven growth model with decent work at the heart of government policies.
Action must be taken to reduce wage disparities, which are among the highest in the region, and increase transparency in the economy to counter corruption and the misappropriation of national resources.”
Amankwah also urged the international labour movement to support ZCTU, acknowledging that the road ahead is difficult given the prospect of fresh elections in the country.
“Attacks on trade unionists and other perceived opposition forces have been a constant feature of recent elections and violence is already affecting the constitutional outreach process.
“The conference pledged to stand firmly alongside the ZCTU and support its capacity to fully play its role as a leading force for justice, democracy and nation building,” said Amankwah.