1 May 2014

Zimbabwe: Workers Mark May Day

ZIMBABWEANS will today converge at various venues countrywide to celebrate Workers Day at a time the country's political economy has drastically changed, with most people now working in the informal sector. This has seen the number of workers celebrating the day dwindling each year as many have become employers.

Workers' Day is celebrated on May 1 the world over. Celebrations in Harare are expected to be depressed, with one of the major labour bodies in the country -- the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions -- saying it was not holding any special event in the capital.

People said Workers Day should be redefined as it was no longer about celebrating the successes and rights of the workers, but the alignment of unions to political parties. The biggest culprit has been the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, whose central role in creating the MDC in 1999 has resulted in greater focus on politics and less on labour issues.

The situation has been compounded by an economy reeling from the effects of an illegal Western sanctions regime that has driven many out of formal employment and saw large companies closing, retrenching or freezing recruitment.

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