The Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has been fingered for harbouring industrial action under the guise of a Brussels-based organisation, Education International.
Recently the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) which is the largest and oldest teachers union in Zimbabwe crossed swords with the PTUZ when ZIMTA declared that after government had paid teachers their bonuses and appointed its representative to the joint negotiating forum there was no longer any need for a strike which had earlier on been called for.
PTUZ, however, insisted on going for the strike accusing the members of the apex council of dancing to the government’s tune by refusing to embark on the proposed industrial action.
There is however concern that PTUZ all along could have been desperately spoiling for confrontation with government under the guidance of the Brussels-based organisation.
Correspondence dated January 26, 2015 written to teachers unions in Zimbabwe shows calls on the organisations to join the global action day for the right to strike on February 18.
The Brussels-based organisation also calls on local organisations to organise a dedicated event on the day.
Observers, however, have expressed reservations that the militant PTUZ could have been part of the scheme as the Brussels organisation calls on local unions to organise protests outside government offices if the government is known to oppose the right to strike and also to hold public demonstrations and social media action.
In response, secretary general Raymond Majongwe said that all teachers’ unions work with Education International and as far as PTUZ is concerned, the organisation will ensure that the global day for the right to strike is observed in Zimbabwe.
Majongwe also said PTUZ is not bent on sending any political message nor does it seek confrontation with government although he said the union will maintain its militancy as it is no a church but a trade union.