|Govt okays workers’ union for journalists|
|Friday, 15 June 2012 12:00|
Government has approved the application to register a workers union representing the interest of journalists and other media personnel. The Ministry of Labour and Social Services has since considered and accepted the constitution presented by the Media, Information and Communication Technology Allied Workers Union of Zimbabwe.
The union will not only cater for journalists, but also for other workers employed by media houses and those in the information communication technology sectors.
This means Internet Café workers will also be covered by the union. According to a letter from the acting Registrar of Labour, Mrs Nelia Simango, to the Government Gazette, the application for registration as a trade union by the MICTAWUZ was done in terms of the Labour Act (Chapter 28:01).
“It is hereby confirmed that in terms of Section 33 of the Labour Act (Chapter 28:01), that an application has been received for the registration of Media, Information and Communication Technology to represent the interest of employees in the publishing of newspapers, magazines, broadcasting of radio and television signals.
“Also included are employees in the provision of media related information technology services,” wrote Mrs Simango.
Acting secretary-general of MICTAWUZ, Mr Reason Tafadzwa Masomera, said yesterday that from registration they will go back to the Ministry of Labour for accreditation.
“After accreditation with the Ministry of Labour, we then expect to come up with a National Employment Council (NEC) and later a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for the industry,” said Mr Masomera.
Journalists have for long been calling for the establishment of a workers union to address their grievances including salary negotiations with employers.
Although the majority of the media practitioners belong to the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists it has failed to come up with an NEC and CBA for journalists.
The national organising secretary of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Mr Michael Kandukutu, recently urged journalists to speak with one voice and ensure that they come up with a NEC chapter.
He said trade unions were there to fight for the rights of the workers, hence journalists must speak with one voice to be heard.
The unfortunate scenario for print media journalists is that they are paying subscriptions to the printing and packaging industry union, which does not represent them.
One irate scribe who preferred anonymity said they have been contributing over the years an exorbitant US$25 per month to a wrong union. Another journalist from the private media said they had refused to contribute to the wrong union after a meeting with their management.
“We asked them what would be the benefits of belonging to the printing and packaging union, and how would our employment grades be defined by the union,” he said.