Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa has called for greater respect for workers’ rights and comprehensive economic reforms to revive the country’s struggling economy.
Speaking at this year’s Worker’s Day commemoration in Harare yesterday, Chamisa outlined a comprehensive plan for workers’ rights, stressing the need for fair wages, improved working conditions, and the protection of labor rights.
“Workers are the wheels of change. Workers deserve a new and great Zimbabwe free from poverty, corruption and oppression. We believe in the decent work agenda, employment opportunities and sustainable enterprises. Labour standards and workers’ rights, inclusive social protection, inclusive social dialogue, collective bargaining, non-discrimination by gender, age or any other form. Workers get ready for this change. Workers stand up and participate in the change that you so deserve. #Anew Great Zimbabwe.
“We need to uphold labour standards and workers’ rights. Workers are being ill-treated, especially in mines. Workers are being turned into slaves. There is no employment, but exploitation. Workers being creators of wealth must be taken care of. Their sweat must be honoured. God gave us everything, but what we lack is good stewardship and leadership of natural resources.” said Chamisa
The opposition leader’s address resonated with the crowd, as he received cheers and applause throughout his speech.
Meanwhile, in her speech to commemorate the day, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) president Florence Taruvinga expressed concern over worker abuses in Chinese-owned companies and local security firms operating in the country.
“Chinese owned companies and private security companies are the worst culprits. They have enslaved local workers by paying low wages while disregarding labour laws hedging behind protection by powerful individuals within our political circles.
“Workers at Manhidze Steel Plant; Sunny Yi Feng, Bikita Minerals and many other Chinese established around the country are denied basic fundamental rights like provision of PPE, the right to join unions of their choice, are underpaid and are subjected to abuses. All this is happening at a time our worker and citizen protection standards should have matured,” said Taruvinga.