Low wages trigger mental cases: ZCTU

ZCTU president Peter Mutasa

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has blamed the paltry wages paid to most workers in the country for triggering a spike in mental cases.
Addressing stakeholders attending the World Day for Safety and Health at the workplace last week, ZCTU president Peter Mutasa said mental challenges emanating from mediocre wages were rife among workers.

By Tinotenda Munyukwi

“The other challenge is the workers’ wages and salaries, which we have termed as wage theft. The current scenario in Zimbabwe is so disturbing because workers are now subjected to mental health and psychosocial challenges, the suffering caused to workers and their families is incalculable,” Mutasa said in a speech read on his behalf by his deputy, Florence Taruvinga.

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals three and eight both call for optimum working conditions which were informed by high standards of decent work and well-being at the work place.

“It is, therefore, prudent that we commit to the provisions of Sustainable Development Goal number 3 on good health and well-being and goal number 8 on decent work and economic growth,” Mutasa said.

Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe executive director John Mufukare said they continued to give primary priority to the plight of workers, as this had a direct impact on business productivity.

“We acknowledge that we have an important role to play in pursuance of a safe working environment across the nation. If Zimbabwe is, indeed, going to be open for business, it must, indeed, focus on decent work,” he said.

“Workers, who are healthy, tend to be more productive and, as employers, we are, therefore, taking the role to promote safe and healthy workplaces to make decent work a reality through providing workplaces that are free from serious hazards and complying with the law and labour standards.”

As the economic situation continues on a downward trend, most workers in the various facets of the economy were receiving poor wages way below the poverty datum line, with some going for several months without receiving their salaries.