Fight unfair Chinese labour practices, call

via Fight unfair Chinese labour practices, call 17 August 2014

A FORMER Parliament of Germany State Secretary, Dr Uschi Eid, has urged Zimbabwe’s civil society to challenge the expropriation of resources and unfair labour practices by Chinese companies.

The German politician is a member of the Green Party which lost last year’s parliamentary elections and is out of the federal government.

Eid, who is also a member of the board of the Germany Africa Foundation, was responding to questions from Zimbabwean journalists who were on a fact-finding mission to the European country.

The journalists raised concerns about the “invasion” by the Chinese who have set up businesses in Zimbabwe.

Chinese companies operating in Zimbabwe are accused of clandestinely signing unfair business deals with President Robert Mugabe’s administration.

They are also accused of evading tax and engaging in unfair labour practices while operating in Zimbabwe.

The Chinese have set up businesses in all sectors of the country’s economy including the retail and indigenous food industry.

They are also accused of importing their own labour from their home country.

“This is an issue which should be dealt with by your trade unions and civil society because you cannot import foreign (Chinese) labour in a country where there are thousands of unemployed people,” Eid said.

“You need to have a strong civil society that challenges government over such serious national matters. This is the responsibility of citizens and no one else to strongly oppose that.”

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions has in the past complained about unfair labour practices by Chinese companies in the country.

A ZCTU official recently told NewZimbabwe.com that some Chinese businessmen had “boasted” that they were immune to prosecution because of their strong links with the ruling Zanu PF party.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 9
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    Tongoona 7 years ago

    The story of the Arab and the camel has indeed come true in Zimbabwe. The Chinese are about to over run us as a nation and owners of this country. Whatever connections the Chinese have with the ruling party, those connections are not national. They are benefiting no one but the ruling elite and growing Chinese economy thousands of km across the seas and oceans. The imminent change of government will one day liberate the nation from oppression by the Chinese. What happened to the chorus “Zimbabwe will never be a colony again?” Is it as meaningless as is shown by the Chinese general behavior very much similar to the period before 1980. Someone must tell us why our independence is one of ever mounting poverty and disunity.

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    Mixed Race 7 years ago

    The problem is that most Zimbabweans are cowards and do not know their rights.This reminds me of incident when I was with my friend in a Chinese shop in Chitempo street in Byo when I refused to jump over the deliberately erected barrier supposed to control suspected thieves.
    I refused to jump this barrier because the entrance side had no barrier because they encourage you to enter their shop to but items but once you have spent your money they throw you out like an animal.I asked their security guys to call their manager who refused to see me but told them to remove the barrier for me to pass to be greeted with a loud applause from those outside the shop who were following the incident BUT my friend had quickly jumped the barrier in fear and let me to argue my rightful case alone.We are our own enemies with our fear for these useless foreigners,therefore the government cannot monitor these injustices for us daily.

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    John Thomas 7 years ago

    The Chinese expect their employees to work as hard as they themselves do. They expect their employees to use common sense and step forward in the tasks at hand. These simple seemingly reasonable requirements will be found onerous and unwonted in any Zimbabwean work place. Zimbabwe is a place where extremely low productivity is a hallmark of every work place. The very idea of firing the lazy and the useless causes outrage.

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    The Zimbabwean labour force used to be second to none. The political situation over the years has changed peoples work culture. Lack of work. During the 80’s because the Government wanted the vote of the worker they made labour laws that gave the workers so much power over the employers. There was totally no balance. The worker would just cry foul for every little thing and the labour people were there to shake up the employer. They started also taking bribes from the employer or the worker, which ever could put money in their pockets. Employers were forced to reinstate workers even if they had erred and had to give them heavy back pays. When the Government fell out with the labour unions the whole scope changed. The Chinese came here at the invitation of the Government as such it is very difficult to win against the connected ones. @ JT the Chinese exploit. Even in China they exploit their own people. Yes their economy is strong. Nobody will ever go to China and see the poverty that exist in their Ghettos. They do have Ghettos. If you go to most European countries that have a large number of Zimbabweans you will find that they are highly rated for their work ethic whether they be black white Mixed race or Asian. The Zimbabweans at home still have a desire for work. Not all go to South Africa to steal and commit crimes. Let the country boom and you will see what happens. Give us proper jobs and you will see how we work. That is why Zimbabwe was once an industrial power house. They never had to get labour from outside. That particular resource is in abundance. The means of tapping it is not there.

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      John Thomas 7 years ago

      Respectfully Dr DL, I have worked with and employed Zimbos of all shades. There are hard workers to be found here. Some very good people and you are right, some of the Chinese are wicked when it comes to exploitation, but by and large work performance in Zimbabwe is very weak. The oft sighted case of Zimbos doing well overseas is easily matched by the many who do not.

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    @JT that is exactly my point. If you look at the work force in the late 70’s and very early 80’s you start to see that when the labour unions in the 80’s which were controlled by people who were aligned to Zanu pf were using their political clout and connections to cause havoc things . This had negative results on worker attitudes. I cannot talk about those in South Africa but those overseas during my time in London excelled. You find them on the train networks, Nurses in key hospitals, Engineers,Security personal and one of the revered that I know is tasked with ensuring the water in London remains drinkable.Contrary to what Mugabe says there are a few few that do care work which is dominated by Nigerians, Ghanains, east Europeans and such. A friend I know is also involved in the manufacture and invention of updates for formula 1 cars. The reason how I have this information is because of what I do I had the opportunities to meet some people in these different fields at Seminars and Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) events. I also had an interest to see what my fellow countrymen and women do and how they live in the Diaspora. I have been told by some that do have Zimbabwean or former Zimbabwean staff that they are polite, hard-working and very creative. It would be very hard to say what the work force is like here right now. But then how would you tell when 90% are unemployed? What I do know is that if the economy was stable, with a stable Government we would be able to Salvage what we had.

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    nyoni 7 years ago

    The problem my dear comrades is Mugabe and Zanu. Once we get rid of them we will excel. They are holding us all back. Its one con after another.

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    Tongoona 7 years ago

    With virtually 100 percent unemployment, in some SADC countries the government would have put laws which protect locals against competing for jobs with foreigners like the Chinese. It is a pity that the Chinese youth come all the way to steal jobs of all kinds from Zimbabwean youths under the guise of a destructive friendship between Zanu pf and China. Our youth have tried to be enterprising by creating jobs for themselves but the menacing Chinese still flock into the informal job market to compete with them. Where are the affirmative action people? Is it that they too have become friends of China as we can see from the way the Chinese have been left to occupy every job space. The type of Chinese we have are not investors but job seekers. Nhamo inhamo zvayo, amai havaroodzwe nemwana. We have tolerated much the insults from the Chinese and it is time to call a spade by its name.