BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) yesterday called on the country’s working class, including opposition political parties to unite in the fight to restore the dignity of workers.
CiZC chairperson Peter Mutasa made the clarion call ahead of the Workers’ Day celebrations set for today.
Workers in the private and public sector are clamouring for wage hikes, or United States dollar salaries amid the rising cost of living as the local currency is on a free-fall.
Mutasa said the country was “literally a failed State” where workers were failing to make ends meet before placing the blame on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s doorstep.
“This year, workers are commemorating this day in a very difficult period where salaries have been eroded, pensions of workers have been eroded, the cost of living is going up and workers are basically working in modern slavery,” Mutasa said.
“In our view, it is a problem of governance, a crisis of governance.
“Firstly, it is manifesting itself in state society relations where citizens are suffering under widespread repression and the democratic space is shrinking daily.”
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The CiZC boss bemoaned proposed repressive laws such as the Patriotic Bill, Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill and Labour Amendment Bill as militating against the rights of workers including the right to embark on a collective job action.
“We know that in the labour market, there is also the Labour Amendment Bill which also seeks to give the registrar and minister similar powers to interfere with operations of trade unions.
This is a crisis we are facing, a state that has become a danger to its people and to its workers,” Mutasa said before calling for a broad coalition of citizens to face Mnangagwa head on.
“We need to come together and address the issue of economic relations, and also the issue of livelihoods.
“We believe we can come together, and this is our call that the working class should unite,” he said.
“All trade unions should unite and fight back against dictatorship, fight back against repression.
“We need to build a broad alliance, an alliance between working class, an alliance with organised labour, an alliance with students, youth movement…opposition parties and civil society to restore the glorious days of Zimbabwe, to restore the dignity of workers.”