Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president George Nkiwane says poor wages and salaries were the cause of poor performance by most workers as they were demotivated.
In a speech read on his behalf by ZCTU first vice-president Sithokozile Siwela at the commemorations of the World Decent Work Day in Bulawayo’s City Hall last week, Nkiwane said the union would continue campaigning for decent working conditions in all sectors.
He said most companies were not following the decent work principle to which Zimbabwe is signatory.
“Our greatest challenge here is that very few people in Zimbabwe can claim to have decent employment. So we can safely say Zimbabwe has the greatest decent work deficit in the world,” said Nkiwane.
He said the majority of workers earned far below the poverty datum line which currently stands at $508 with some earning as little as $40 per month.
“Zimbabwe faces the highest percentage of unemployment, poor quality and unproductive jobs, unsafe work, insecure income, rights which are denied and inadequate social protection and solidarity in the face of disability and old age.” said Nkiwane.
He singled out domestic workers as the worst victims as their working conditions were characterised by inhuman treatment and poor salaries.
Recently the government pegged domestic workers’ wages at $100 per month.
“This year’s ILO conference in June adopted the domestic workers’ convention which compels every employer to pay domestic workers decent wages and create decent environment,” he said.
“Here we will push for the ratification of the convention and domesticate it.”
Nkiwane said member countries that attended the Geneva conference of 2009 agreed on a policy forcing governments, employers and workers’ organisations to work towards improving working conditions through genuine collective bargaining.