PARTIES to the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) have agreed to empower employment councils to determine minimum packages for retrenched workers and streamline the retrenchment processes to make them responsive to the needs of both workers and employers.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Nicholas Goche made the disclosure in a statement soon after the TNF principals adopted the principles for labour law reform and legislation of the TNF at a meeting in Harare yesterday.
He said business, labour and government had agreed that the reforms should seek to align the country’s labour laws with the Constitution and the Zimbabwe Agenda for Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset).
“In the same process, the reforms seek to close the gap between the status quo and Zimbabwe’s international obligations pertaining to ratified ILO (International Labour Organisation) Conventions,” Goche said.
The social partners also agreed that the legislation of the TNF was an important cog in the national turnaround agenda and endorsed the establishment of a legal framework for social dialogue.
Goche said he would soon present the agreement to Cabinet.
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) acting spokesperson Last Tarabuku said the development was a step in the right direction for labour as it reversed the issue of productivity-linked wages which they had opposed from the outset.
“The employers had also wanted to include a clause that would give them the green-light to hire and fire as they please, but we are happy that the minister chose to move with us on this one. We have agreed that collective bargaining processes be strengthened to also take into account productivity, the needs of the workers and also the needs of their families,” he said.
Tarabuku said parties had also agreed to set up an independent dispute resolution system to accelerate the resolution of workplace disputes.
Goche represented government, while ZCTU president George Nkiwane and business executive Jack Murehwa represented labour and business, respectively.