via Budget is anti workers — ZCTU December 21, 2013 by Christopher Mahove and John Nyashanu NewsDay
THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has reacted angrily to the 2014 National Budget statement presented by Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa on Thursday,saying it was anti-workers and the worst in the history of Zimbabwe.
In a statement, ZCTU secretary-general Japhet Moyo said Chinamasa’s Budget statement gave employers the liberty to hire and fire workers as they pleased and pay slave wages.
Moyo said the labour body would resist the proposed changes to labour law and warned that they would take to the streets to protect workers’ interests.
“The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions is seriously concerned that the tone of the Budget is anti-workers with the Minister of Finance making it clear that it is necessary to introduce in our labour laws flexibility in the hiring of workers as well as alignment of wage adjustment to labour flexibility,” Moyo said.
He said the resistance by government to provide decent salaries to its employees was not surprising given that most members of the ruling party, Zanu PF, had become employers.
Moyo said besides the increase in the tax threshold on severance packages, the budget was silent on tax relief for the overtaxed workers.
“Instead, it proposes a raft on new levies on fuel that will obviously be passed on to the workers,” he said.
He said labour was not a commodity and should not be sacrificed ahead of other variables in the production chain such as raw materials, machinery and technology.
Meanwhile, MDC-T leader and former ZCTU secretary-general Morgan Tsvangirai described Chinamasa’s $4,1 billion budget statement as an “anti-people rhetoric”.
“While people were looking for confidence, leadership and boldness, Zanu PF yesterday (on Thursday) presented delusion, ineptitude and anti-people rhetoric,” Tsvangirai said in his end of year statement.
“To suggest that the economy will grow by 6,1 % is mere fantasy,
while crafting a $4,2 billion budget, which is unfunded, is stretching the patience of Zimbabweans too far,” he said.
“Government workers have not been paid their bonuses while the Zanu PF leadership has had to borrow money to pay salaries, further plunging the economy into financial doldrums because it does not make sense to borrow for recurrent expenditure.
“The power shortages have worsened, with the clueless government not having any idea on how to complete the plans to internally increase power generation that we had started to roll out as an inclusive government.
These power outages have seriously affected households and whatever is still left of our once-thriving industrial sector.
“The humanitarian situation is worsening, with 2,2 million people requiring food aid, but the situation is likely to worsen next year if we take into cognisance the current erratic rains. There is no plan by the current leadership to deal with this impending humanitarian crisis that will worsen in 2014.
“In a space of four weeks between September and October 2013, nine companies went into liquidation, while 12 were placed under judicial management. On housing, there is no plan and all we have seen are unconstitutional plans to demolish people’s houses without providing alternative accommodation.
“The clueless Zanu PF leadership is peddling a policy programme that it is calling ZimAsset when to all intents and purposes it should
actually be called ZimLiability. There is no clarity on how this
broke government will fund that policy programme, which in itself is a shoddy cut-and-paste job of some aspects of the MTP (Medium Term Policy), the GWP (Government Working Plan), STERP (Short Term Economic Recovery Programme) and the MDC’s ART (Agenda for Real Transformation).”