ZIMBABWEAN workers yesterday joined the rest of the world in commemorating Workers’ Day, with the Government calling for steadfastness as the country is going through a transitional period.
Civil servants gathered in the Harare Gardens, while others attended the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) function at Dzivaresekwa Stadium.
Some informal sector workers, however, chose to continue with their work as they said they could not take time off their jobs.
Others felt Workers’ Day was being politicised and no longer representative of workers.
Addressing civil servants in the Harare Gardens, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Sekai Nzenza expressed concern over the unjustified increase in prices of basic commodities.
“You complained on salary increments and as a ministry we heard your complaints and the President gave cushioning allowances from January to March,” she said.
“You also pleaded on the cost of living and we added cost of living adjustments and even though they are living adjustments, the price increases are hurting. The President said the matter is being looked into.
“It is not easy we understand, but this country has entered a new era which is a transitional period we are facing, but at the end, we will win.”
Minister Nzenza said her ministry will next week launch the Decent Work Country Programme which will enable workers, especially women, to be free from harassment at workplaces. Apex council secretary Mr David Dzatsunga said Workers’ Day was a moment to reflect on conditions of service.
“As we celebrate this Workers’ Day, it is the moment when we reflect on our conditions of service and also the moment that we reflect the road we have travelled as workers,” he said.
“We thank the Government for listening to our problems of salary increment and if we are going to have austerity then it must be for everybody.”
At Dzivaresekwa Stadium, workers’ representatives called for national dialogue.
Addressing the workers at the stadium, International Labour Organisation (ILO) director Mrs Hopolang Phororo called for dialogue to address issues affecting workers.
She said the LO was prepared to support Zimbabwe to engage in dialogue and come up with solutions to its challenges.