The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) condemns in strongest terms the failure by responsible authorities to intervene and bring to an end the labour dispute that has engulfed Hwange Colliery Company.
What is also disheartening is the conspicuous silence from the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare in this unending battle between the spouses of the company workers and management. Despite being at fault, the management is acting arrogantly by refusing to meet the striking spouses and had the temerity to approach the courts to seek permission to disperse the strikers. To add salt to injury, the management unliterary deposited an average of $200 in the accounts of workers. This is an insult.
On 2 February 2018, the ZCTU sought the intervention of his Excellency President E.D Mnangagwa but his envoy, Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu, failed to solve matters. We believe the President should have sent the labour minister instead of a Minister who is responsible for the police. The ZCTU President has also been on the ground but management has acted in bad faith by refusing to meet them.
The Workers have not been paid for the past four years and as a result, their families are suffering. They cannot access medical care, education and any other services that require money. The majority of workers have defaulted on contractual payments for residential stands, insurances and other obligations due to none payment of their salaries. There is also high level of victimization if workers ask for their salaries or anything related to their conditions of service, hence the resolve by their wives and the community to demonstrate on their behalf.
The demonstration has been there since Monday 29 January 2018, and the women have not been addressed by anyone from management. The condition of over 1000 women demonstrators has been very deplorable: they are out in the rain, sun, wind and cold.
If the matter is not resolved, the ZCTU retains the right to mobilize other sectors within Hwange for solidarity action with the women.
Japhet Moyo SECRETARY-GENERAL