Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Minister turns enemy number 1 for workers

Not even a single union did not go for wages arbitration this year. Government has been the biggest obstacle in the fight for living wages in Zimbabwe. The Minister of Finance Tendai Biti recently made ridiculous statements saying living wages are detrimental to economic growth. He declared that Zimbabwe has the highest paid workforce in the region therefore wages should be frozen. 

The minister recently called for a review of the country’s labour laws to allow bosses to dismiss or retrench workers at will. For him to have such confidence of announcing that shows that elites in both ZANU PF and MDC are now united and working for the rich against workers and the poor. Of course its indeed partying time now for them after having succeeded in defeating government workers. Their success in defeating government workers meant defeating the entire working class as bosses in the private sector are following suit. 

How many of us have heard bosses refusing to award better wages above the $150, arguing that government workers are getting even low? Many unions had to put up a big fight to surpass the $150 benchmark. Government employs three quarters of those in the formal sector meaning therefore that the wages it pays its workers end up being the standard wages for the whole country. 

In this case they succeeded in forcing its employees to accept living in one room as the standard of life habitual in Zimbabwe and that applies to the whole country. Therefore the government workers strike was very decisive and should have been supported by all other workers and trade unions. Let use this May Day to re-mobilize for an all out battle of all public and private sector workers to win a living wage of $500 linked to the PDL. Socialist Worker