Zimbabwe

The ITUC affiliate in Zimbabwe is the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU).

In practice

Browse by:

Farai Katsande, President of the Zimbabwe Banks and Allied Workers’ Union, who was suspended from his position in the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe on 15 October 2013 for allegedly absenting himself from work while he was attending a union activity in Kenya. Previously bank management attempted to prevent Farai Katsande from engaging in trade union activities by promoting him to a supervisory position which would have disqualified him from his union membership.

On 7 October 2013, the Zimbabwe Republic Police fired teargas and beat up over 100 women, accompanied by their children, who were protesting against the Hwange Colliery Company Limited. The women walked for 20 km to the General Managers’ office demanding their husbands’ salaries owed over five months. Two women sustained serious injuries and were admitted to hospital. In April 2013, the company suspended 520 workers over salary disputes and alleged breach of the company’s code of conduct. The workers had gone on strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
over outstanding employee share option schemes which Hwange Colliery Company failed to provide.

The Chinese diamond mining firm Anjin Investments has sacked 1,500 workers who participated in a strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
over pay and better working conditions.

Workers have been beaten with clenched fists, kicked around and called racist names by the employers.

Many of the workers have also reported serious sexual assaults by the bosses.

21 labour union leaders were dismissed in January for allegedly spearheading 12 days of industrial action industrial action Any form of action taken by a group of workers, a union or an employer during an industrial dispute to gain concessions from the other party, e.g. a strike, go-slow or an overtime ban, or a lockout on the part of the employer. at Falcon Gold Dalny Mine in Kadoma. Two of them were reinstated in unclear circumstances in a move described by the appellants as a “divide and rule” tactic.

On the 15th of May, 19 of the workers have taken the matter to the Labour Court contesting their dismissal.

According to the National Mine Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (NMWUZ), Falcon Gold Dalny Mine threatens the existence of a registered trade union. After the strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
in January, the company dismissed the entire branch of the union.

Police and state intelligence services regularly attend and spy on the trade union activities. On 18 January 2013, police demanded to participate in ZCTU meetings.

Public authorities have withheld the registration certificate for the Zimbabwe Metal Energy & Allied Workers’ Union for more than 7 years.

The Zimbabwe Security Guards Workers Union has not received union dues for over a year. Some companies (such as Trust Me Security, Catiss Security, Greens Security, and Cash Talk Security) are refusing to deduct union dues. Other employers (such as Midsec Security, Chitkem Security, Professional Security, etc.) deduct union dues but fail to remit them to the union in a timely manner.

The Zimbabwe Amalgamated Railways Workers’ Union, the Zimbabwe Railway Artisans Union, the Railway Association of Engineman and the Railway Association of Yard Operating Staff have not received union dues for over two years.

The Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Employers Association has refused to bargain in good faith and as a result no collective agreement has been reached since 2007.

Public authorities require the payment of 1,000 USD for the registration of collective agreements which is unreasonably high.

An ILO International Labour Organization A tripartite United Nations (UN) agency established in 1919 to promote working and living conditions. The main international body charged with developing and overseeing international labour standards.

See tripartism, ITUC Guide to international trade union rights
Commission of Inquiry confirmed in March that Zimbabwe’s government was responsible for serious violations of fundamental rights, in particular the freedom to organise trade unions, the right to collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
, the right to strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
, and protection of trade unionists from discrimination. The Commission found the violations to be both systematic and systemic and highlighted that it “sees a clear pattern of arrests, detentions, violence and torture by the security forces against trade unionists that coincide with Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) nationwide events, indicating that there has been some centralised direction to the security forces to take such action”. It also concluded that “there was another clear pattern of control over ZCTU trade union gatherings, be they internal meetings or public demonstrations, through the application of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA)” and that “detentions and targeted violence have been used to intimidate both leaders and rank and file members of the trade union in a systematic and systemic manner”. The POSA has been used regularly as a pretext for anti-union action by the Mugabe regime.

The COI report made a series of recommendations to the Zimbabwe authorities including an immediate halt to the victimisation of trade unionists, the creation of an effective Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, training on human rights for the security forces, strengthening of the rule of law and legislative changes to comply with international labour laws.

The 2002 Public Order and Security Act (POSA) bans any public gathering held without police permission. Although public gatherings held by a registered trade union for bona fide trade union activities are exempted from the act, in practice it is still used to obstruct union activities and harass trade unionists. Under the POSA, people found guilty of disturbing the peace, security or public order, or of invading the rights of other people, are liable to a fine and/or imprisonment for up to ten years.

The reformed Penal Code of 2006 is also often used to arrest and imprison trade unionists. The Miscellaneous Offence Act carries less severe penalties, and is applied when charges of a public order offence cannot stand up in court. Blocking a public thoroughfare, for example, is an offence under this Act. Under the Labour Act, those taking part in an illegal strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
can face prison sentences of up to five years.

For many years, the Mugabe government repeatedly refused to cooperate with the International Labour Organisation (ILO International Labour Organization A tripartite United Nations (UN) agency established in 1919 to promote working and living conditions. The main international body charged with developing and overseeing international labour standards.

See tripartism, ITUC Guide to international trade union rights
) and for two years running refused to appear before the Committee on the Application of Standards at the International Labour Conference. As a result, the ILO International Labour Organization A tripartite United Nations (UN) agency established in 1919 to promote working and living conditions. The main international body charged with developing and overseeing international labour standards.

See tripartism, ITUC Guide to international trade union rights
decided in November 2008 to apply one of its toughest measures, a Commission of Inquiry, to examine complaints concerning the non-observance by Zimbabwe of the Freedom of Association freedom of association The right to form and join the trade union of one’s choosing as well as the right of unions to operate freely and carry out their activities without undue interference.

See Guide to the ITUC international trade union rights framework
and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87) and the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
Convention, 1949 (No. 98). The Commission of Inquiry began its work in February 2009.

In practice, trade union members still face harassment and intimidation from the authorities and supporters of Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party. The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) is seen as being close to the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and has been a particular target for harassment as a result, although the MDC’s participation in the government has helped the situation slightly. Several incidents occurred during the year, however. The ZCTU reported, for example, that its District Committee member in Karoi, Mr. Toindepi Tsigo, was assaulted by ZANU-PF thugs returning from a ZANU-PF meeting in Harare. The youths attacked Mr. Tsigo and removed his ZCTU T-shirt, saying they did not wish to see a ZCTU person in Karoi. Teachers also reported being were terrorised by ZANU-PF youths over the summer further to protest action.

© ITUC-CSI-IGB 2013 | www.ituc-csi.org | Contact Design by Pixeleyes.be - maps: jVectorMap