ZIMBABWE Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) secretary-general Japhet Moyo has warned Zimbabwean workers to brace for life in the informal economy as the embracing of labour market flexibility by business was likely to see more and more people pushed out of formal work.
Speaking during a graduation ceremony for 11 unionists who completed a paralegal certificate course in Harare on Friday, Moyo said the workplace had changed over the years and there was need for workers to adapt.
He said the labour regulations proposed by Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa would destroy the formal economy.
“The new economy which this Cde Chinamasa was speaking of will destroy the formal economy. What measures are we going to take to deal with that? Obviously we have to look at new ways of capacitating and empowering our people on how best to deal with the challenges of informality because that is where our members will be in the near future,” Moyo said.
Speaking at the same event, director for labour in the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Clemence Vusani said the course would transform the graduands into versatile and diligent paralegal officers who would contribute in the dispute resolution system in Zimbabwe.
“Labour issues are dynamic and are constantly changing to adapt to global trends, hence the need to raise the standards through upgrading yourselves like what you have done. Today, most issues emanating from various industries are creating unnecessary disputes that may end up in the Labour Court while they could have been resolved at shopfloor levels. With the skills like yours, I am sure more issues will be resolved at the shopfloor level,” he said.
Vusani said government viewed labour as a vital cog in community growth and was currently spearheading labour law reforms to enable uniformity in the private and public sectors and address the current labour market imbalance.
Acting ZCTU president Sithokozile Siwela said the union was mulling registering the programme with the University of Zimbabwe and the University of Cape Town.
The paralegal course, which has seen more than 400 trade unionists graduating since its inception in 1999, is an entry qualification for the Diploma in Conciliation at the University of Zimbabwe.