Govt Anti-Indigenization Act Discriminates Workers Rights: Unions Reject SEZs

Govt Anti-Indigenization Act Discriminates Workers Rights: Unions Reject SEZs
Published: 2016 May 16 06:03:15 (1424 Views)
Workers unions have vehemently rejected the proposal by government in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) Bill which has seen the government back tracking on its indigenization policy to exempt businesses operating in the zones from the application of the Labour Act.

SEZs are geographical areas administered by one oversight management body offering special trade incentives to firms that establish themselves in the designated zones.

Parliament has endorsed the recommendation to exempt the Labour Act application to investments under the SEZs.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) secretary-general, Japhet Moyo, said exempting the application of the Labour Act in the SEZs does not promote social justice at the workplace.

“Exempting the application of the Labour Act on investments under the SEZs merely entails that there’ll be no social justice at the workplace as the employer reserves the right to hire and fire. Under the Labour Act, Section 2 seeks to promote social justice at the workplace,” he said.

The Zimbabwe Energy Workers’ Union general-secretary, Martin Chikuni, echoed similar sentiments saying the recommendations by the parliamentary portfolio committee were retrogressive as far as improving the terms and conditions of the working class in the country.

He said if there are issues in the Labour Act that do not promote economic development, they should be addressed rather than completely “ousting” the Act from being applied in the SEZs.

However, the Affirmative Action Group national vice president Sam Ncube said stakeholders should not bother much on labour laws as that could scare away potential investors.



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