June 14, 2007

Labour Unions to launch protests in July

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) is making plans to launch more strikes in July, following what they say is an unchanged situation since their strike in April. Japhet Moyo the Deputy Secretary General of the ZCTU said that workers were suffering while government had no clue how to sort out the economic mess. According to him, all the government was doing is to blame Britain, the United States and what they claim are economic sanctions for the problems in the country. Moyo lashed out at the government accusing them of only being concerned with how to win the next election while the rest of the population faced starvation.
'Things have not changed since the government says it signed a social contract with all the stakeholders,' Moyo added. 'Until government pursues policies that benefit the people our members will continue engaging in strike action,' he said. The ZCTU would either urge its members 'to flood the streets' or engage in mass stayaways, the labour leader said. They were demanding a living wage that is over the Z$5,5 million poverty datum line recently announced by the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe. Moyo also explained how transport costs were eating up the entire incomes of many workers in Zimbabwe. He cited petrol prices of over Z$100 000 per litre as killing the ability of workers to go to work.
Asked why the ZCTU did not engage in solidarity strikes with the likes of doctors, nurses and teachers who have been downing their tools at different intervals, Moyo said these workers were not members of their union and never informed the ZCTU of their strike actions. This he said made it difficult to coordinate anything in unison. He however said they always issue solidarity messages, which unfortunately only the minority independent media pick up while state publications and broadcasts shun them. Commenting on the constant negative publicity they receive from the state media Moyo said they were not bothered because their membership was well informed and aware of the agenda behind publications like the Herald. (SW Radio Africa, London)

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