THE EUROPEAN Union is set to ignite hope for trade unionists in Zimbabwe as they move to sponsor a capacity building project to reequip the collapsing labour movements.
The project which was launched Thursday afternoon by EU country representative Tim Olkkonen is set to capacitate trade unions in Zimbabwe to achieve their mandate in fighting for decent work.
The Decent Work for All project will be implemented by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) and Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU).
ZCTU Secretary General Japhet Moyo said “the project is meant to teach Trade Unions to have a meaningful policy dialogue with other social partners like government and businesses”
He added that the project will capacitate labour movements to achieve decent work for all.
Unlike other projects that give lump sum grants the DECENT WORK FOR ALL project is meant to equip trade unionist with knowledge and experience and the money will go to stationery, training manuals and other learning materials.
Moyo said “capacitation is not only about building or growing a union’s membership base but is about capacity to effectively represent members, engage with partners from a knowledgeable standing point.”
“It’s not about the numbers but quality work for they will be doing”
“We want Unions also to be democratic and observe their constitutions” added Moyo
At the launch program, Timo Olkkonen highlighted the importance of Decent Work principles for development, and called for inclusive social dialogue, respect for human and workers’ rights as well as an end of harassment of ZCTU leaders.
He also emphasized on the need to protect the environment for economic growth.
He said “As EU we believe that protecting the environment is good for economic growth. The Government of Zimbabwe should intensify efforts to improve the easy of doing business.”
The project comes at a time trade unions in Zimbabwe are losing membership due to the shutting down of industries, the failing economy.
Most unions have failed to negotiate for salary increments since 2014 a situation that has also forced members to deregister their membership.