The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) has called on the Government to show sincerity and address the plight of workers in the country.
In a message to mark the International Workers Day, the coalition accused government of choosing to criminalize trade unionism at the expense of addressing the plight of the workers.
“The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition calls upon the government of Zimbabwe to show sincerity and urgently address the plight of workers who continue to live far below the Poverty Datum Line. We note with huge concern the fact that the government has over the years displayed insincerity in engaging with trade unions on the issue of a living wage for workers.
“It is disturbing to note that the government has chosen to criminalize trade unionism and responded with brute force to genuine calls by trade unionists for a living wage. In many instances, trade unionists have endured lengthy periods in detention while some have been abducted and assaulted by state security agents for calling for a living wage,” said CiZC.
The coalition blamed the crisis in the health and education sector to Government’s failure to address the difficulties faced by the workers.
“Due to the government’s failure to address the plight of workers, critical sectors such as health and education have been plunged into a serious crisis as workers continue with job actions. Consequently, the ordinary citizens, already suffering from the effects of a failed economy, have had to bear the brunt of the crisis within these critical sectors.
“It is in light of this challenge that the Crisis Coalition calls upon Zimbabweans to join the fight by trade unions for a living wage. We implore the government of Zimbabwe to desist from persecuting trade unions but rather engage in an honest dialogue with workers’ representatives.”
CiZC added “As we commemorate International Workers’ Day, we implore the government of Zimbabwe to urgently implement reforms aimed at resuscitating the economy given the fact that the country’s unemployment rate stands at 90 percent while the Covid 19 pandemic has worsened the situation for citizens trying to eke a living from the informal sector.”
The Coalition also called upon employers within the private sector to ensure that workers’ salaries are fixed in line with the Poverty Datum Line.