First Deputy Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and General Secretary for Food Federation and Allied Workers Union of Zimbabwe (FFAWUZ) Runesu Dzimiri said they are not aligned to any political party as they are only demanding and fighting for their rights as workers.
Speaking at ZCTU Southern Masvingo District Workers’ Day commemorations held on May 1, 2022 at Mucheke Hall in Masvingo, Dzimiri said they are apolitical as their mandate is to rescue workers from the oppression they are currently under.
“Firstly, I would like to let people know that as ZCTU we are not aligned political party as this is the resolution we were given by the general council, the reason why they came up with it is that we are governed by our own constitution which is very clear about issues of independency and this means that we are not aligned to any political party in Zimbabwe.
“If we take a closer look at the history of ZCTU, in 1981 it was formed by a party called ZANU, then later on in 1999 ZCTU with other unions with formed a labour-backed party called Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), but this does not mean that we are now dealing with political issues no, our mandate is to first fight for the rights of workers and we are there to see workers living a better life,” said Dzimiri.
He also added that they are not fighting the government of Zimbabwe as they are only demanding for their socio-economic rights, improved standards of living and working conditions.
“I want to make it very clear that we are not fighting the government of Zimbabwe, we are actually demanding for our rights. As a labour movement, we observed that there is mistrust between the labour movement and the government itself, the issues we are raising as workers are the same issues opposition political parties are also raising and government is now thinking that we are only fighting for regime change yet we are only demanding our socio-economic rights.
“What we expect is that employees’ salary should be above Poverty Datum Line (PDL) as we speak right now according to Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) statistics, the PDL right is ZW$ 92 000.We are also demanding safe working conditions as different workers are facing different challenges as some are not even given enough protective equipment,” he added.
Dzimiri also said that they are tired of empty promises as they want action and a government that can solve their grievances.
“We are also appealing to the International Labour Organization (ILO) to chip in and come up with programmes that orient Tripartite partners so that we have a common understanding and trust which is one of the factors that our country needs going forward. We do not have permanent enemies, neither do we have permanent friends the issues we have are that we just want the ruling party to solve the problems we are facing as workers and definitely we will give the 100 percent support and failure to meet our demands or address the socio-economic issues that are worrying us, we are going to support those who will.
“We are sick and tired of empty promises we want food on the table as workers. We want action and people who can solve our problems. It does not make any sense to give someone our vote while they cannot meet our demands that is not fair and we cannot take it anymore. Workers have been victimized and detained for calling for better working conditions and better salary in the country,” said Dzimiri.
Recently workers in Zimbabwe were left with an egg on their faces as the rate of exchange between the US$ and ZW$ civil servants earn short upwards due to inflation while some retailers and wholesalers abandoned the local currency on basic commodities.
This year’s theme for Workers’ Day was based on restoration of workers’ dignity.