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The Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions held its main Workers’ Day celebrations at Stanley Square here yesterday, but there was a low turnout.

The celebrations were held under the theme “Workers united, more informed and ready to embrace the Zim-Asset programme”.

ZFTU president Mr Alfred Makwarimba urged the Government to involve workers in the implementation of Zim-Asset.

He said workers were key players in the economic turnaround of the country.

“As ZFTU, we urge the Head of State and Government, President Mugabe, through the Minister of Labour, to take stock of his cabinet ministers in areas of performance and delivery,” he said. “This will help in the realisation of the economic blueprint, Zim-Asset. We encourage the President to put to task his ministers who run key critical ministries to produce results that are short and long term based. It is our wish to engage all key ministries so that as workers we have our input in driving Zim-Asset forward. Workers are strategic players in the economy.”

Mr Makwarimba said workers were unhappy with the looting by management at State enterprises like Air Zimbabwe, ZBC and PSMAS. He said workers should be involved in management decisions of the companies to guard against corruption.

Mr Makwarimba urged workers to buy shares in companies and commended President Mugabe for reversing the decision to scrap bonuses for civil servants.

He said the workers union is engaging all national employment councils to complete negotiations on salaries and wages.

ZFTU, he said, wanted a minimum wage of $300 across all sectors of the economy.

In an interview after commemorations, ZFTU secretary-general Kennias Shamuyarira said they were not concerned about the low turnout at Stanley Square because they were unlike other worker unions who had turned the event into a political “rally”.

In Masvingo, the Workers Day commemorations were poorly attended as less than 20 people turned up for the George Nkiwane-led ZCTU faction at Mucheke Stadium.

Progressive Teachers Union in Zimbabwe (PTUZ), an affiliate to the ZCTU led by Lovemore Matombo also failed to hold any celebrations in Masvingo citing financial challenges. The labour movement distributed T-shirts inscribed “No to Xenophobia”.

The United Food and Allied Workers Union of Zimbabwe (UFAWUZ) held their commemorations in Bulawayo City Centre yesterday where less than 30 people turned up. In Victoria Falls, workers snubbed the Workers’ Day celebrations organised by the ZCTU.

Source : The Herald

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