THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has accused the government of prioritising capital and attracting “cruel” foreign investors, who are subjecting local workers to hazardous working conditions.
BY TINOTENDA MUNYUKWI
Speaking at an occupational health and safety workshop organised by the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) in Harare on Wednesday, ZCTU president, Peter Mutasa said the government’s “misguided” quest to attract foreign investment was compromising several labour laws.
“Government has left workers at the mercy of bad investors, who are subjecting us to hazardous working conditions because in our quest to attract investment, the country has gone on a wholesale relaxation of labour laws,” he said.
“This is responsible for the carnage that we are witnessing in workplaces, as workers are left vulnerable under unsafe conditions. NSSA must refuse to sell the lives of Zimbabwean workers to capital and government accumulation desires. “
Mutasa’s comments follow recurring reports of Chinese investors in various sectors of the economy, who are being accused of brutalising workers and deliberately turning a blind eye on environmental laws.
“We have heard many stories about Chinese investors and we will always endeavour to drive the point home that we will not accept any form of new colonialism, even if it’s economic or social,” he said.
According to the Labour ministry, 5364 injuries and 63 occupational safety and health fatalities at the workplace were reported in 2016, with over 30 deaths already reported this year.