Workers urged to fight against ill-informed economic policies

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THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) yesterday urged citizens to fight against ill-informed externally-driven policies that have continued to stifle their rights.

BY TALENT GUMPO

In a speech read on his behalf at a gathering to celebrate Workers’ Day held at Stanley Square in Bulawayo, ZCTU president, Peter Mutasa, said workers in Zimbabwe are bearing the brunt of entrenched political and economic dictatorship.

“We face a myriad of problems that range from poverty, inequality, unemployment, underemployment, wage theft, labour brokers, political persecution and unfair labour practices.

“We cannot overcome these problems if we do not organise ourselves,” he said.

Mutasa said the union vows to take action against those who project themselves as socially responsible organisations while making workers’ lives miserable.

“Workers are forced to work long hours amongst other difficult working conditions and are paid a fraction of the gazetted minimum salaries for the sector. It is time for all workers to stand up for our rights. We will be taking serious action against such.

“We had hoped for an end to neo-liberal economic recovery narratives based on oppression of workers through dangerous and imposed concepts such as labour marker flexibility, austerity, ill-informed economic adjustment programmes and the enrichment of a few individuals and corporates at the expense of toiling masses,” he said.

Mutasa castigated the current regime as “pro-capitalists, who do not tolerate anyone who fights for workers’ rights”.

“We need to be on guard as the government abandons one of its fundamental duties, the protection of citizens in favour of advancing sectoral interests of businesses.”

The ZCTU leader urged workers to unite for a common goal.

“Let us put aside all our political affiliation considerations, sectoral interests, and focus on our collective interests as workers. We are workers first and we sustain our families through what we get from our labour not from political parties,” he said.

This year’s celebrations, which ran under the theme We are at a Crossroads Arise and Organise, do not Mourn,
were attended by various workers’ groups and organisations including the Labour ministry, National Social Security Authority and representatives from various political parties.