BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has called on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration to stop labelling workers demanding fair wages as terrorists in order to justify a clampdown on their rights.
The call came yesterday as workers’ unions across the globe stood in solidarity with underpaid Zimbabwean workers during commemorations of the Global Day of Action.
“We are calling on all our affiliates and international partners to stand in solidarity with the workers of Zimbabwe and support the (Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions) ZCTU demands to the Zimbabwean government to stop the continued arrests abductions, intimidation, harassment, torture and judicial persecution of the trade unionists, their families and civil society and to stop labelling them terrorists,” ITUC said in a statement.
The workers unions also urged Zimbabwe to respect human rights and the rule of law and allow citizens to exercise their rights, including the right to strike.
“Pay workers with a valuable currency linked to the poverty datum line. Allow Southern African Development Community (Sadc) and International Labour Organisation to expeditiously facilitate and mediate an all-inclusive national dialogue to resolve the socio-economic and political crisis in Zimbabwe,” it said.
The Communist Party of Britain said the achievements of Zimbabwe’s national liberation struggle should be protected to guarantee political stability in the country.
“We support your demands that the achievements of Zimbabwe’s national liberation struggle be protected and that those providing social services in health and education are paid a wage that meets their needs and that all be provided with the dignity of work,” Communist party general-secretary Robert Griffiths said.
Turkey Communist Party said it saluted Zimbabwean workers for their resistance to various forms of oppression and police brutality.
“We salute the resistance of Zimbabwean workers against poverty, corruption, various levels of oppression and police brutality. We salute your struggle for a better living for all under humane and egalitarian conditions,” the party said.
Other Communist parties in Germany, Chile, Greece, Belgium and National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) called on progressive workers’ unions around the world to reject the violent authoritarian regime of Zanu PF.
Numsa held demonstrations outside the Zimbabwean embassy in Pretoria.
ZCTU president Peter Mutasa (pictured) told NewsDay that yesterday’s commemorations were part of a build-up to a general strike to be held at a later date.
“We are not starting protests tomorrow (today). We have called for mobilisation for a general strike and the date for the general strike has not yet been announced. When we announce, our protests will be peaceful and will not be interrupted,” Mutasa said.