ZCTU demands urgent meeting with govt, business, threatens demos

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By Alois Vinga

THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has demanded an urgent meeting with government and employers under the auspices of the Tripartite Negotiating Forum to deliberate on the fast deteriorating economic situation threatening to pauperise workers.

TNF brings to the negotiating table, government, business and labour.

ZCTU’s general secretary, Japhet Moyo said in a Friday statement soon after a meeting by the ZCTU general council that efforts were being made to consult structures for a demonstration if no agreement was reached.

The ZCTU meeting was attended by union leaders of over 20 workers’ groups from across the country’s economic sectors including the informal economy.

Current President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s rule has seen a surge in inflation as prices of goods and services continue to shoot through the roof.

Workers, who earn wages in the much resented RTGS dollars, have watched helplessly as their pays erode in the current macro-economic downturn.

“Under these destabilising and distressing macroeconomic conditions, the only sustainable route out of the crisis is the negotiation of a Social Contract, and associated protocols.

“The protocol negotiated in 2003 and revisited in 2007 on Prices and Incomes Stabilisation bears relevance in addressing the disequilibrium between prices and incomes today.

“We therefore call upon government and business to come to the negotiating table as a matter of urgency in order to redress the deteriorating conditions of the working people of Zimbabwe.

“Contrary to the Constitution, this government has a tendency of announcing polices without consultations as required by section13 (2) of the Constitution. We reserve the right to approach the courts for redress,” Moyo said.

The union threatened to take action against all employers who reviewed salaries unilaterally.

It argued that upon introduction of the RTGS dollar, the enabling legal tool, Statutory Instrument 33 of 2019 did not deal with workers contracts.

Among other demands, the union said that workers must get back to their United States dollar pays that were converted into bond notes by the central bank without their consent.

“The ZCTU is in the process of consulting structures to get a mandate for mass action in the event that the above issues are not addressed,” said Moyo in his statement.

The union also slammed central bank governor, John Mangudya for his monetary policies that have slid the country back into the hyperinflationary situation of 2008.