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Improve workers' welfare, Mnangagwa says

by Staff reporter
01 May 2022 at 11:08hrs | Views
Employees' wages, salaries and welfare should be improved in line with the growing economy, while Government is doing all in its power to protect workers' rights and cushion them from challenges arising from present global realities, President Mnangagwa has said.

In his address to mark 2022 Workers' Day celebrations at State House in Harare yesterday, the President commended workers' invaluable contribution towards growing the economy, which has since transitioned from stability to growth.

This year's commemorations are being held under the theme "Restoring Workers' Dignity".
"A prosperous society is only possible if you as workers continue to play your part," said President Mnangagwa.

"As a country, we commend you for your efforts that have led to the present growth trajectory in our capacity utilisation, which is now at 66 percent.

"Through the hard, honest work of our workers, the Zimbabwean economy has now graduated from stabilisation to growth.

"In this regard, your dignity as workers, your value, wages and salaries must be commensurate with the resultant improving macro-economic fundamentals.

"Employers are challenged to respect and honour the efforts being made by workers in modernising and industrialising Zimbabwe."

He said local workers, through their sheer industry, were bringing to reality the mantra "Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo/ Ilizwe liyakiwa ngabanikazi balo" by building the country "brick by brick and stone upon stone".

"As we celebrate this important day, we salute and pay tribute to all workers of our motherland, Zimbabwe . . . It is through you, our hardworking Zimbabweans, that we will achieve our goal of constructing our own roads, dams and bridges, building our own schools, clinics and factories, growing our own food and manufacturing our own clothes," the President said.

On its part, Government has since made a commitment to implement various measures to ensure prices of basic commodities remain stable so that workers' salaries are not eroded, especially in the face of increasing global inflation.

"It is regrettable that prices have of late been increasing due to imported inflation. My Government remains seized with redressing the situation through comprehensive strategies to ensure that there is no erosion of disposable incomes."

The President said ongoing measures included the introduction of an effective and affordable public transport system through the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco).

"The Second Republic is determined to retain the purchasing power of workers through a viable public transport system. Government will not stand by and watch while the hard-earned incomes of our workers are stolen by ‘mushika-shikas and makoronyera'.

"You, as our workers, deserve an efficient and affordable transport system so that production time as well as your family time is not lost in transport queues.

"I therefore direct authorities at Zupco and the responsible ministry to heed this call and bring back order in the sector."

Workers, he added, should report organisations that fail to remit medical aid contributions and pensions.

The National Social Security Authority (NSSA) was urged to accelerate the establishment of programmes for the inclusion of the informal sector in social security protection.

"The responsible Ministry (of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare) is directed to quickly finalise the Formalisation Strategy towards mainstreaming the decent work principles. I urge workers in the informal sector to always engage with the responsible ministry to speed up the formalisation agenda, while enhancing their participation in the mainstream economy."

Government will also continue to enact laws that enforce the respect of workers' rights and welfare.
"As such, the Labour Amendment Bill is now before Parliament, in line with our commitment to ensure fair labour standards for all workers in Zimbabwe. The Bill is expected to further restore the dignity of workers through addressing some of the emerging challenges affecting workers.

"I challenge the leadership across all sectors of the economy to protect and advance the interests of all our workers."

Source - The Sunday Mail