05 May 2020
RE:GOVERNMENT'S ILL PREPAREDNESS FOR STAGE 2 LOCKDOWN PUTS LIVES IN DANGER
We note with serious concern that when the government of Zimbabwe announced that the country was down grading its fight against COVID19 to stage 2, it was not yet ready and therefore exposing workers to much greater risks.
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) is disturbed that the government abrogated its role and suddenly parcelled out its responsibilities to the private sector employers and health institutions when it comes to testing, provision of face masks, and even sanitisation of the work places.
The new guidelines for Level 2 that were announced by government have created pandemonium and more confusion. It is clear that the government did not consult enough on level 2 and its implications on the ground. The ZCTU is concerned that the government once again failed to consult the Tripartite Negotiating Forum(TNF) in this crucial decision hence even employers were not ready to accept workers back at the work stations as seen by the fact that workers travelled to work only to be returned back home.
I think we need to emphasize that there was no consultations at TNF and therefore the policy lacks the inputs of labour and employers.
We demand that an urgent TNF meeting be convened to deal with the challenges workers now face as a result of the ill informed decision.
The hard pressed workers are now scrounging for money to buy substandard face masks to go to work. In any case there is no guarantee that the testing kits are not contaminated with Corona virus.
Worse still there was inadequate transport arrangement for workers to go to work and most of them were left stranded as the public transport provider, ZUPCO failed to cope.
The ZCTU therefore urges workers to stop going to work under these circumstances that could potentially expose them to the Corona virus until they are satisfied that they are safe.