The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) will soon engage the newly-elected MDC-T leadership to thrash out contentious issues affecting the majority of the country’s workers over “skewed government economic policies”.
ZCTU president Lovemore Matombo yesterday told NewsDay, the meeting between the ZCTU and the MDC-T leadership had been put on hold to allow the party to elect new leadership at its just-ended third national congress.
“There were discussions and an invitation was extended to the MDC-T for these talks. We had to wait for the congress to elect new leadership.
“We believe we are still a stakeholder in this economy and for us to engage the MDC-T, it’s because alliances are everywhere in the world. It’s not new that workers have interests in political parties that hold ideas that are similar to theirs. It’s everywhere in Europe and even America. But it does not mean that we have lost our autonomy,” said Matombo.
“We want to engage the MDC-T on issues that are related to workers’ rights, questions on how they will implement their policies. We would also like to engage them on the economy. We have an economic blueprint that we want to discuss with them.”
The MDC-T congress ended on Sunday with the announcement of a new leadership structure that however remains largely unchanged.
The MDC was formed in 1999 largely out of the workers’ movement and party president Morgan Tsvangirai was secretary-general of the ZCTU prior to the formation of the party.
Matombo bemoaned lack of protection of workers’ rights in Zimbabwe citing the recent case where the labour body had to seek a High Court order after police threatened to stop the May Day celebrations held on Sunday.
He said they also wanted to engage MDC-T ministers holding economic portfolios because they were championing economic policies based on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB)’s advice.
“We want to discuss these issues because, if you honestly look at the world, there is no single country that you can point at and say it has succeeded because of the advice of the IMF and the WB,” he said.
Matombo said as workers they felt that, despite the fact that the MDC-T is a labour-based party, it was following economic policies that were not in tandem with workers’ expectations.