CIVIL servants have reacted angrily to government’s new “no work, no pay” policy, describing the move as tantamount to denying them the right to go on strike if they feel aggrieved.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
Apex chairperson Cecilia Alexander told NewsDay yesterday that the new policy proposal announced by Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Prisca Mupfumira last week was a gross infringement on their labour rights.
“The idea of intimidating workers constitutes unfair labour practice,” Alexander said.
“That will be violation of section 65(3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, which ushers in the right to take job action. The Public Services Act has not yet been aligned with the new Constitution, but that being the case, the Constitution of Zimbabwe supersedes all enactments. The ILO (International Labour Organisation) convention number 98, which Zimbabwe ratified, also provides for the right to strike.
“The no work, no pay principle government is talking about is the same principle that we are also going to follow because it follows that no pay, no work.”
She, however, said job actions came as a last resort after all processes had been exhausted.
The government has been failing to stick to fixed pay dates for its workers due to a severe cash squeeze at Treasury, thereby, causing civil servants to be restive.
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions leader, George Nkiwane, described government’s move as retrogressive.
Lawyer, Marufu Mandevere said although there is generally a principle of no work, no pay, changing labour laws call for collective bargaining.
“This means the employee cannot collectively bargain because the only power they have is to withdraw their labour. So the government wants to take away the power of employees, which means they cannot properly negotiate for their salaries, benefits of any other working conditions because the government will not pay them. It’s quite unlawful for them to do that particularly in collective agreement,” he said.