May Day celebrations have lost all meaning

© ZIMBABWEANS last week joined the rest of the world in celebrating Workers’ Day. It is a sad that this important day on the worker’s calendar was commemorated against the backdrop of an ever-shrinking job market that has given rise to unrestricted exploitation of the worker. Commemorating such an important day in an environment of company closures and mass unemployment is absurd.

The day — celebrated internationally and also known as Labour Day or May Day in some countries — has just but become meaningless except that workers get to rest on the day. In principle, this is an event set to commemorate workers’ struggles, fights for decent working conditions and fair remuneration while establishing a culture of human and worker rights.
This has become completely the opposite in Zimbabwe where there is nothing to celebrate.

In fact, it has become a mockery to commemorate the Zimbabwean worker who has become subject of exploitation and whose stagnant salary has been eroded by unimaginable inflation, nonstop price hikes and flouting of labour laws at workplaces.

Workers had high hopes soon after the November 2017 removal of former president Robert Mugabe that things would improve when Emmerson Mnangagwa took over as president but all hope is gone as workers are faced and continue to face a plethora of challenges such as food insecurity and failure to pay rentals.
For those with children in school, the majority of them are going to be sent away for failure to pay fees as schools are set to open next week.

There has been no change for the worker. Mnangagwa is simply a scarfed version of Mugabe, if not worse.
The government needs to realise and acknowledge the contributions, hard work and sacrifices that the few workers — constituting 10 percent of the adult population — continue to make in building Zimbabwe.

Workers should be given due attention. They are important partners in the reconstruction, development and prosperity of our nation. Government policies concerning workers continue to cause more harm to the latter and the economy in general. It is sad to note that the economy has become informalised.

According to the National Social Security Authority, 711 companies in Harare have closed this year rendering 8 336 jobless and turning most of them into vendors.  There is now need to change the course. 

Workers need a stable currency, stable economy and recognition of their rights.

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