The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has resolved to send a special mission to Zimbabwe after government failed to implement recommendations made by a commission of inquiry eight years ago to, among other things, harmonise the country’s labour laws in line with international standard procedures.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
A recent report by the technical committee tasked by the ILO executive to investigate Zimbabwe noted that the country still had discriminatory and repressive labour laws.
The team will also investigate proposed laws such as the Special Economic Zones Bill to see if it was in conformity with the labour regulations agreed by ILO member States and if the legislation protects workers.
“The government should accept a high-level ILO mission before the next International Labour conference in order to assess progress towards compliance with these conclusions,” an ILO report released last week read.
“(It must) provide detailed information on the current situation of collective bargaining in the export processing zones and on the concrete measures to promote it in those zones; ensure that collective bargaining can be exercised in a climate of dialogue and mutual understanding.”
In coming up with the report, the global labour body received submissions from both trade unions and government on the state of labour activism in the country. The committee was not satisfied with government’s presentation.
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In 2010, ILO set a commission of inquiry which noted harassment of trade unions.
“The committee noted with disappointment the government’s failure to provide statistical information on cases of anti-union discrimination as requested by the Committee of Experts in its 2016 observation. Taking into account the discussion of the case, the Committee urged the Government to,” the report said.
“Hold meaningful consultations with social partners in order to fully and effectively implement the Commission of Inquiry recommendations with respect to the amendment of the Labour Act, the Public Service Act and the Public Order and Security Act.”
The report said dissuasive sanctions should be imposed on those engaging in anti-union discrimination.
“All workers who have been targeted for discrimination have access to effective remedies,” the report recommended.