Vicious Attacks against Zimbabwean Trade Unions

The ITUC is releasing today a report on core labour standards in Zimbabwe coinciding with the Trade Policy Review at the WTO. The report finds systematic abuses against trade unions and poor compliance with other international labour standards.

The ITUC report found that the authorities have been routinely making use of “arrests, detentions, violence, torture, intimidation and harassment” to curb union activities and membership. The rights to organise, to collectively bargain and to strike are under attack in Zimbabwe, and numerous labour activists have been victims of violent anti-union campaigns. The Public Order and Security Act (POSA) is used to criminalise trade union action, in effect. Furthermore, the report underlines the conclusions of a recent ILO Commission of Inquiry which found “violence and torture of trade union leaders and members by the security forces coinciding with Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) nationwide events, indicating some centralized direction to the security forces to take such action”.

Moreover, the government fails to enforce its laws on discrimination, child labour and forced labour. The Labour Inspectorate and other law enforcers are not well resourced, while there are reports that police have been complicit in trafficking and other crimes. The eradication of child labour and forced labour do not appear to be priorities in the government’s agenda.

To read the full report