Harare, August 03 The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) will this week stage crippling street protests countrywide against the massive job losses triggered by a recent Supreme Court decision authorising employers to arbitrarily terminate employment contracts.
Last month, the Supreme Court ruled that employers can terminate workers contracts on notice and without giving any reason. The ruling has prompted most struggling companies to dismiss thousands of employees with the State run Herald newspaper disclosing that 9 000 workers had lost their jobs in less than two weeks after the ruling was issued.
ZCTU secretary-general Japhet Moyo on Monday announced that workers and members of the public would on Saturday stage protests against the continuing job losses and the threat to the existence of trade union.
Moyo said the country’s largest labour federation would roll out demonstrations in Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare, Gweru and Chinhoyi.
“We urge all workers, sympathisers and those who have lost their jobs to join hands to denounce what is currently happening and to call upon the government to immediately stop the abuse of workers,” Moyo said in a statement released Monday.
Apart from private companies, parastatals among them Air Zimbabwe, Central Mechanical and Equipment Department and the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration have also taken advantage of the Supreme Court ruling to off load workers.
President Robert Mugabe’s government has in previous years clamped down on ZCTU led protests by enlisting the services of armed police to thwart demonstrations which it claims are an attempt by the labour union and its political ally, the Movement for Democratic Change to topple it from power hiding behind worker grievances.
Tensions have been rising in Zimbabwe as the troubled southern African country grapples with a political and economic crisis worsened by massive job losses blamed mainly on mismanagement by Mugabe’s administration.
But the 91 year-old Mugabe, in power since Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain in 1980 denies mismanaging the economy and instead accuses western governments for inflicting economic harm on the southern African country through the imposition of travel sanctions on the former nationalist and his lieutenants