20 December 2019
For immediate release
ZCTU PRESS RELEASE
RE: ZCTU CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR MESSAGE TO ZIMBABWE
As we enter the festive season, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) notes with regret that 2019 has been a disastrous year for workers. It is a year they would want to forget quickly and a year that can be best described as ‘annus horribilis’. The much-anticipated improvement to the plight of the working people did not materialize. During the course of the year, the working people of Zimbabwe have been confronted with among others:
Poverty/ slavery wages that have failed to match the poverty datum line of ZWL$5 000.00;
Shocking price increases and inflation levels toping 500 percent;
High income tax policies that is punitive to the workers;
A barrage of anti-worker policies from the Government;
A health delivery system that has failed to recover from collapse and innocent Zimbabweans continue to die of treatable diseases;
A collapsed education system that has been characterized by a chaos and constant threats of industrial action from teachers over low salaries;
Erratic supply of water and electricity that has decimated industrial production;
High unemployment and underemployment levels;
Informalisation of the economy;
Institutional collapse, decay and corruption;
Endemic poverty afflicting in excess of 80% of the population;
Threats, arrests, detention and abduction of trade unionists, civic leaders by a paranoid state;
State sponsored shooting and killing of civilians for protesting against the high cost of living
Given the above, therefore there has been nothing much to celebrate about in 2019 as workers continue to suffer immensely.
The political and economic situations have certainly not been kind to Zimbabweans. Let us take this Christmas and New Year break not to ponder on what could have been, but to ponder on what to do about it in order to improve our lives. The month of January 2020 should be a decisive month. Workers should come back prepared to fight against economic hemorrhage and tyranny.
Despite this, the ZCTU wishes you a peaceful and accident free Christmas and New Year. Let us all meet in 2020, ready to take forward the workers’ struggle from both the negotiating table and the streets.
Forward Ever, Backward Never, Workers Intensify the struggle
God Bless Zimbabwe.