By Reason Dube – Masvingo Correspondent
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union has castigated the present administration led by President Mnangagwa for neglecting workers’ welfare and called on the government to address the situation or face nationwide industrial action.
National ZCTU member Nicholas Mazarura told a handful of workers gathered at Mucheke Stadium in Masvingo yesterday that government was not taking workers issues seriously and should stop forthwith it’s intimidating attitude against those who legally go on industrial action .
He said a case in point is the 6000 nurses issue who embarked on a nationwide strike which saw the otherwise militant Vice President Constantino Chiwenga firing a salvo – announcing the dismissal of all striking nurses.
The decision has however been indirectly rescinded when the hospitals rehired expelled nurses after realising the legal blunder that the no nonsense VP has done.
“We have a government which does not observe the rights of workers. When workers week recourse from employers they are not listened to,” said Mazarura.
“As ZCTU we fully support all legal industrial action which are meant to force employers to observe workers rights . We all saw what happened last week when nurses went on strike. Government used intimidation ,to silence the nurses throughout unilaterally and blindly dismissing all who had taken part in the strike to. This was suicidal , they realised it and rehired the nurses ,” he said.
He said no country would develop without workers and challenged government to help in the resuscitation of industries.
He said ZCTU was going to rally behind teachers who have also threatened to embark on strike when schools open next week over poor remuneration and conditions of service.
The Zimbabwe Teachers Association, home to about 44 000 members ,said salaries and allowances had not been increased since 2003. Teachers have also accused government of barring them from taking vacation leave, as what happened in the past. Government employs more than 10 000 teachers.
“We are behind teachers until their grievances are met,” he said, giving pressure to Mnangagwa`s leadership ahead of the penultimate plebiscite slated for July .