Saturday, November 14, 2009

a union of informal workers

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions is organizing workers in the informal sector, Scoop reports in an interview with the vice president of the ZCTU, Vimbai Zinyama.

The idea is to reach out to workers where they are actually working, instead of being locked into a factory-based organizing model.
"A salesperson working inside a building by no means shares the same status as the salesperson laying out vegetables on the street in front of the same building. Yet both of them make the economy work and pay taxes. Informal economy workers have to cope with red tape and harassment from the police authorities, who often drive them out of their workplaces. They are pushed to the sidelines of the system, without any rights. Our aim is to integrate them within the system....The ZCTU has 1.8 million members in the informal economy nationwide, and 60% of them are women. Companies are closing down every day with the failure of the economy. Overall economic activity is running 20% below capacity. This is driving many men and women to work in the informal economy to survive. Not to mention all those that have a salaried job they cannot live off and have to supplement with another activity in the informal economy. Public service employees, for example, do not earn enough to make ends meet, so at the same time as holding on to their office jobs, one goes back and forth to South Africa to sell chickens whilst another sells shoes... it's a very common state of affairs."

1 comment:

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