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International Labour Organization urges ‘toothless’ TNF to convene regular meetings

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By Alois Vinga


THE International Labour Organization (ILO) has implored parties to the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) to adopt the habit of convening regular meetings as a strategy to pursue lasting solutions to the country’s social justice challenges.

The TNF is a social dialogue platform, which brings together key stakeholders from business, labour and government to deliberate on pressing socio-economic justice challenges bedevilling the nation.

However, since the platform’s establishment in the late 90s and its subsequent legislation in 2019, the TNF has not yet accomplished any tangible results.

Disagreements, confusion and competing political interests remain the key characteristics underpinning the TNF prompting many to regard it as the “toothless bulldog”.

Addressing workers during May 1 commemorations held recently, the ILO Country Director for Zimbabwe and Namibia, Philile Masuku implored Trade Unions to advocate for effective social dialogue.

“Trade Unions should be at the forefront of advocating for effective social dialogue through the Tripartite Negotiating Forum as the centre of all discussions concerning industrial relations and other matters of interest to workers in Zimbabwe. More attention should therefore be focused on regular meetings of the TNF.

“The ILO Country Office is ready to work with the Tripartite partners to entrench tripartism and social dialogue. An effective social dialogue system in Zimbabwe will contribute to addressing the challenges of job creation, dignity of workers and social justice,” she said.

She underscored that the May 1 commemorations theme crafted by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU );“ Workers Demand an inclusive Zimbabwe free from Poverty, Corruption and Oppression; Arise Workers Arise”  was very relevant to the ILO as well as the people of Zimbabwe as it resonated with the struggle for universal social justice is one of the major pillars on which the ILO was established 104 years ago.

Masuku said the theme is in line with the ILO DG’s call for the establishment of the Global Coalition for Social Justice.

Ashe said the Coalition will serve as a platform to generate increased political commitments, foster concrete actions in support of national priorities towards advancing social justice and decent work, and create a forum for exchange and dialogue driven by the goal to achieve greater balance amongst economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.