Workers are hoping for better fortunes in 2018 as the new political leadership pledges to implement reforms that will lead to a turnaround of the economy, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) said Monday.
ZCTU secretary-general Japhet Moyo told Xinhua in an interview that the previous two years had been bad for workers with companies applying to retrench up to 1,200 employees each quarter, but pledges by the new government led by new President Emmerson Mnangagwa had lifted workers’ spirits.
“We have not experienced any company closures yet and there is hope that workers will keep their jobs while others who are not at work will be hired, given promises by the new administration that they will be doing some reforms to improve the economy.
Among the challenges workers faced during the past two years were cash shortages, static wages and retrenchments, he said.
“There are now a lot of expectations and we hope those expectations will not turn into desperation.”
Moyo said government should quickly turn the promises it had made into action if there were to be changes in the lives of workers.
“We are expecting the new administration to walk the talk and turn around our fortunes. There have been promises to change some laws impeding economic transformation and people expect to see amendments to various pieces of legislation such as the indigenization act and the land reform act.
“We have been told that people will no longer be allowed to invade farms but the law that empowers them to do so is still there,” he said.
He said some “positive small issues” had already taken place like the reduction of police roadblocks on the major highways.
“Last year our people in the tourism sector were complaining about the roadblocks but this year they hope that more tourists will be able to come into the country so that the tourism industry remains vibrant and workers keep their jobs.”
He also appealed to the government to deal with rising prices of basic commodities.
“Workers have not had wage increases for three years yet some prices have doubled during the same period, particularly in late 2017,” he said. Enditem