via ZCTU rapped for double standards | The Herald August 5, 2015
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions’ double standards were exposed on Monday after it called for national demonstrations against the Supreme Court ruling on job terminations while at the same time purporting to support a peaceful way of solving the impasse.
The MDC-T linked labour umbrella body announced plans to “embark on a national protest against the continuing job losses and the threat to the existence of trade union.”
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira said ZCTU, which had initially snubbed a TNF meeting to amend the Labour Act, submitted their contributions to the draft Bill last Thursday. The amendments are expected to cushion workers from being fired on three months’ notice without explanation following a recent ruling by the Supreme Court.
She said through the demonstrations, the ZCTU was threatening its validity.
“They came with their views at a late stage and because Government wants everyone’s input, their input was taken on board,” she said. “This means they are incorporated in the tripartite system and they are part of the processes to respond to the Supreme Court judgement.
“The Supreme Court judgment will not be responded through demonstrations. In any case, the affected parties have taken their case to the Constitutional Court and any demonstration is in contempt of court.”
Minister Mupfumira added: “With all this happening, one fails to understand where the threat of trade unions is coming from. They should be at the forefront, pushing Government to expedite the amendments to the Labour Act for the benefit of the workers.”
ZCTU was last week castigated for abandoning workers in their time of need as it snubbed a crisis meeting called to iron-out outstanding issues on the amendment of the Labour Act. All long, ZCTU has been part of the TNF process. Following the Supreme Court ruling, several companies have laid off thousands of workers.
Parastatals and State-linked enterprises have also joined the bandwagon with institutions such as Air Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara), Central Mechanical and Equipment Department (CMED) and the National Railways of Zimbabwe sending home hundreds of workers.
Minister Mupfumira said by demonstrating against Government, the ZCTU was barking up the wrong tree.
“The laying off authority is the employees’ companies not Government,” she said. “Civil servants are assured of their jobs and no one will be retrenched.”