THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has criticised Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Paul Mavima for presiding over the weakest-ever Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF).
The TNF is a social dialogue platform which brings together representatives from labour, government and business to deliberate on pressing socio- economic issues bedeviling the nation.
Speaking to The NewsHawks this week, ZCTU secretary-general Japhet Moyo said the platform had become very weak and was failing to tackle critical issues.
“As far back as 1998, labour admits that there are several ups and downs at TNF, but we see the current one as the weakest-ever dialogue platform. General housekeeping issues like setting up of an independent secretariat are yet to be finalised and one wonders why it has taken so long despite a legislated platform being launched two years ago,” Moyo said.
“This speaks volumes on government’s commitment to make the TNF work. Apart from this, the mismatch between wages and prices is still rampant despite several submissions to the platform for a lasting solution.”
The labour leader said the resuscitation of local factories through job creation as proposed in various policy proposals to government through the TNF remains a pipedream. As a result, there has been limited job creation, he said.
“For years we have seen informal sector players operating on roadsides and one really wonders why there hasn’t been an improvement of such operating trends which will lead to the transformation of the sector. So what we see is failure to transform the landscape despite the fact the current platform is legislated,” Moyo said.
Efforts to get a comment from Mavima over the allegations were fruitless.
However, president of the Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe Israel Murefu dismissed labour’s claims, accusing the organ of hampering progress.
“Without evidence and verifiable facts, I am unable to reach that conclusion. What we require is sustainable engagement as TNF, but the unions have thwarted this by walking out of the last social dialogue platform meeting. How can progress be made if unions continue to abscond the platform’s meetings?
“I think trade unions are entitled to their own sentiment or views, but these may not be shared by all parties to the TNF,” he said. — Staff Writer.