The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions is set for its first confrontation with the government over amendments to the Labour Relations Act which it claims will weaken the position of the worker.
The labour movement has given the government until June 13 to withdraw the bill but Parliament which is the only body that can stall the bill has already adjourned until the next session to mark the 1992-93 financial year.
Although the labour movement has had conflicts with the government before, these have largely been blamed on the ZCTU secretary-general, Morgan Tsvangirai, who has been detained on several occasions for his outspokenness.
But since the government left the workers to run their own affairs including organising this year’s May Day celebrations which the government “boycotted” the workers have generally been showing a stronger stand that they can no longer tolerate some of the actions taken by the government.
ZCTU leader, Gibson Sibanda, also said as a sign of the labour movement’s protest it was not sending a delegation to the International Labour Organisation’s annual tripartite conference because this would be a betrayal of the worker’s cause to accompany a government delegation which is irresponsive and insensitive to the plight of the workers.
Tsvangirai had earlier warned that if amendments to the bill went ahead the labour movement would call for a work stoppage. He even warned the MP’s that if they passed the bill they would be “kissing goodbye to their seats”.