HomeLocal NewsZCTU write to Mugabe

ZCTU write to Mugabe

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THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions has petitioned President Robert Mugabe to stop signing the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Bill into law, arguing that Parliament passed the Bill without considering objections raised by the union.

BY PAIDAMOYO MUZULU

ZCTU secretary-general Japhet Moyo
ZCTU secretary-general Japhet Moyo

ZCTU secretary-general Japhet Moyo said the labour body was also planning a series of demonstrations across the country on Saturday to protest the passing of the law. Among other things, the Bill seeks to exempt companies operating in the economic zones from being bound by the country’s labour laws.

“The ZCTU has since appealed to President Mugabe to reject the Bill and refer it back to Parliament for further consultations. There is nothing special about the SEZ, as we have seen with the failed Export Processing Zones,” Moyo said.

The unionist said the SEZ Bill is similar to introducing legalised slave labour. “We were shocked that parliament passed the notorious SEZ Bill without any amendments despite stakeholders, who felt that in its current form, it is tantamount to introducing slave labour as employees will be at the mercy of employers.”

The union added that the Bill, in its current form, was against the international labour practices.

“ZCTU sees SEZ as a serious affront to workers’ rights and it has been a subject matter that was discussed at the just ended International Labour Organisation (ILO) 105th session,” Moyo said.

The proposed legislation comes as the government has been working on labour flexibility to appease capital. Labour flexibility policy will make it easier for employers to hire and fire workers without compensation.

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