Workers dump talks, threaten strike 

WORKERS have said they are now abandoning negotiations with government citing lack of commitment by responsible authorities to address their plight.
This comes after the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) meeting between labour, business and government held early this month failed to yield any progress in solving the erosion of workers’ salaries and wages.
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president Peter Mutasa hinted on the possibility of a general strike erupting if the situation remains unchanged.
“We continue to find ourselves in an unfortunate situation where the cost of living continues to shoot through the roof and, on the other hand, workers’ salaries remain stagnant,” Mutasa said.
“We have really tried to commit to negotiations. However, we think it is not working. Workers are suffering and the majority is failing to access basics such as food, decent health care and education.
“As we report back to workers, we have no doubt that the only mandate we will be given is to call for a general strike.”
The issue of salaries pegged on the prevailing interbank rate has been a key demand of Zimbabwean workers across the board as they cite the effects of ever-rising inflation.
Civil servants spent the better part of last year threatening industrial action to put pressure on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration to find money to pay them salaries linked to the interbank rate.
Hundreds of doctors were fired by the government for participating in a drawn-out strike over interbank rate-linked allowances and salaries.

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The TNF is a forum that is chaired by the minister responsible for Labour or any other minister to whom the function may be delegated by the president.
Business and labour provide co-chairpersons while the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe and the National Economic Consultative Forum has observers on a platform which also has seven government members appointed by the president.
TNF consults and negotiates over social and economic issues and submits recommendations to Cabinet. After that, it monitors the implementation of agreements and generates and promotes a shared national socio-economic vision.
Mnangagwa signed into law the Tripartite Negotiating Forum Act in June last year to pave way for the establishment of a platform of social partners — the government, labour and business — to discuss pertinent issues affecting the economy.

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