The government has availed $5 million to be disbursed to workers whose employment contracts were terminated on three months’ notice, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira said yesterday. In her Workers Day message, Minister Mupfumira said the $5 million was meant to provide start-up capital to the retrenchees, many of whom are yet to be paid their severance packages.
“The Workers Day comes at a time when the government has released $5 million to Small and Medium Enterprises for the benefit of the employees whose employment was unfairly terminated on notice after the July 17, 2015 Supreme Court ruling,” said Minister Mupfumira.
She said in line with Zim-Asset and the 10-point-plan, the government’s efforts are directed at creating an empowered society. The Minister said the government was committed to working with social partners to address challenges facing workers and in line with that the Tripartite Negotiating Forum had been revived.
She said the government has also reconstituted the Tripartite Labour Law Advisory Council to look at labour law clauses that need to be attended to. Minister Mupfumira said comments on the Draft Tripartite Negotiating Forum Bill were received and are being factored into the Bill so that it can be presented to Cabinet and Parliament for approval.
The Minister said the government recognised the workers’ contributions to the growth of the economy hence measures being taken to protect workers.
“I know we’re going through tough times but our workers continue to be key assets to Zimbabwe and this year the government has resolved that we’re going to have our celebrations tomorrow (today) so that we unite the workers for a common cause,” she said.
“We also have provincial celebrations in some parts of the country and preparations are going on. We had asked unions to co-ordinate the commemorations but we later realised that they aren’t interested in celebrating together.
“This is why the government is taking over for the benefit of the workers. Next year we’ll make sure that we’ve celebrations in every province.” In Bulawayo, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) commemorated Workers Day at White City Stadium yesterday, with the union calling for the revival of the economy and the creation of jobs.
Ambrose Sibindi, the ZCTU vice chairperson in the western region said commemorating Workers Day was not enjoyable as workers continue to lose their jobs. “The government should work towards reviving the economy. Last year more than 30,000 people lost their jobs yet the government had promised to create more than 2 million jobs.
“Those who are still employed are as good as unemployed because they go for months without being paid their salaries. We’re concerned about the Tripartite Negotiating Forum because it has become just a talk show bringing no results,” said Sibindi. chronicle