By Richard Muponde
THE Zanu PF-aligned Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU) yesterday urged the government to dialogue with labour to avoid the proposed national shutdown by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU).
The ZCTU is currently moving across the country mobilising for a national shutdown to press government to resolve the deteriorating economic situation as well as adjust salaries to match high inflation.
But yesterday, the ZFTU, a Zanu PF affiliated labour union, found its voice after months of silence telling the government to stabilise the currency by mid-year or adopt the rand, and warned the ZCTU against confrontation with government, claiming demonstrations will be hijacked by people with ulterior motives.
“As ZFTU, we strongly believe that crises or disputes should not be solved through confrontation, but through engagement and dialogue for the benefit of our nation,” ZFTU secretary general Kennias Shamuyarira said.
“If all the available platforms for dialogue have been fully exhausted to no avail, targeted interventions should be engaged to the specific elements causing economic hardships for redress. Mass demonstrations usually end up being hijacked by elements with other divergent ulterior
The ZFTU was formed in 1996 when the late former President Robert Mugabe wanted to counter the militant ZCTU, then under the late MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Since then, the labour movement has been used as a conduit to counter ZCTU influence on labour.
“ZFTU strongly believes that all the issues bedevilling our economy are to do with the economic fundamentals, mainly monetary, fiscal and inflation reduction,” Shamuyarira said.
“It is imperative for all Tripartite Negotiation Forum (TNF) partners to understand that neither of the partners should be allowed to abuse the TNF platform for ulterior motives.
Business alone should not bulldoze government and labour and neither should government bulldoze business and labour, and vice versa,” he added.