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ZCTU says things were better under Smith, Zanu PF has turned Zim into a museum of factories

06/11/2016 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
museum of factories ... ZCTU president, Peter Mutasa
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MEMBERS of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) have lamented the sorry working conditions prevailing in the country, saying the situation was far much better under the racist Smith regime.

They were speaking at the workers forum meeting held in Harare last Friday.

New ZCTU president, Peter Mutasa, said Zimbabwe was now a museum of factories as most companies have either shut down or relocated to neighbouring countries.

Mutasa said gone were the years when workers would be given pay dates for the   
whole calendar year as these days employees go for two years without payment.

Representatives of various workers unions all but agreed that working conditions under the Smith regime were far much better.

“What is now left of those memories is just infrastructure that was built under the former Prime Minister Ian Smith’s regime.

“Look at National Railways of Zimbabwe, look at ZUPCO, look at the textiles industry and even most companies that used to produce agricultural products have since gone under or relocated,” said Mutasa.

He said almost virtually all under-privileged families in Zimbabwe were now using the same green bar soap for washing their bodies, laundry, dishes and cleaning floors because they could not afford any other detergent.

“Workers are not asking for eternity but just their dignity, workers are asking for less stressful lives,” said Mutasa.

The ZCTU president said it was high time workers met to discuss how to turn their collective anger and frustrations into action against those who are “governing us” and whose policies are responsible for misery.

According to the ZCTU, more than 5 000 companies have shut down with thousands of workers losing their jobs in the last few years. The ZCTU says the situation was made worse by the 2015 July Constitutional Court ruling which permitted the axing of workers on three months’ notice.

While the ZCTU says the unemployment rate is between 85-90%, a recent (2016) survey report by the Zimbabwe's National Statistical Office said unemployment rate was at 11.3% . The report said formal-sector employment has fallen while wages have increased.

According to the report, 94.5% of the 6.3m people defined as employed are working in the informal economy.


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