THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has accused the coalition government partners of letting down workers by failing to implement labour law reforms as enunciated in the government’s 100-Day Plan launched by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai at the beginning of his tenure.
Report by Christopher Mahove
ZCTU secretary-general Japhet Moyo told NewsDay last week that government’s indifference to workers’ issues had contributed to a decent work deficiency in the country.
“It is unfair for government to only start talking about workers’ issues when we are towards the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conference,” Moyo said.
“They should have harmonised the labour laws as recommended by the ILO inquiry, but it seems there will be no movement until the date of the conference. They have let us down as they were concentrating on political issues while nothing has been done about the workers’ concerns.”
The GNU had, as part of its 100-Day Plan, pledged to reform labour laws within its first three months in office, but has not done so to date.
Moyo said the issue had been before Cabinet for too long while the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) will only be debated in the last session of Parliament.
Responding to the ZCTU letter dated October 23, 2012 on the reforms, acting Labour minister Lucia Matibenga said: “I wish to inform you that the Attorney-General’s Office is working on the draft Bill for the TNF and not one for labour law reforms as you were made to understand since Cabinet has not concluded its deliberations for the latter. You will be duly informed upon consideration upon conclusion of Cabinet deliberations.”
The ILO Commission of Inquiry recommended that Zimbabwe reforms the Labour Act and the Public Order and Security Act to bring them in conformity with ILO Conventions 87 and 98 which guarantee the freedom of association and the protection of the right to organise and collective bargaining respectively.
It also recommended that Harare stops the arbitrary arrests, torture and detention of trade unionists and activists and close all outstanding court cases against trade unionists.