Cornered Workers Agitate For Nationwide Strike Following Collapse Of Zim Dollar
12 June 2023
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Workers unions are agitating for a nationwide strike over the continued economic implosion that has been characterised by the spectacular collapse of the Zimbabwe dollar.

The country is facing its worst economic crisis since 2008 as the local currency continues on a nosedive, driving the process of basic commodities beyond the reach of many.

Union leaders and workers met at a local hotel in the capital on Friday where they discussed the collapse of the local currency and the urgent need for dollarisation.

The workers were addressed by labour leaders including Peter Mutasa, a former Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions president, Munyaradzi Gwisai of the Zimbabwe Labour Center and Obert Masaraure, the leader of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe .

“The continued payment of salaries in local currency is an affront to labour justice for the workers in Zimbabwe,” Masaraure told The Standard.

Workers in the private and public sector are now pushing for United States dollar salaries to make ends meet.

As of yesterday, the local currency reintroduced in 2019 after a decade of dollarisation, was trading at $7 000 against US$1 at the black market rate and $5 000 using the interbank rate.

“The bosses and government are ganging up to extract maximum surplus value from the workers through paying salaries in a useless currency,” Masaraure said.

“All the big profits being declared by big corporates are part of the unpaid labour rendered by workers.

“The multiple currency reforms undertaken by the government are perfectly designed to force employees to sweat it out for the luxuries of the bosses.

“A national outreach will be conducted to build consensus among all people as we prepare to strike big.

“The bosses and government are warned to play ball before the wrath of the workers is unleashed on them.”

Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa was not picking calls and had not responded to questions sent to him in writing by the time of going to print.

Political analyst Freedom Mazwi said there was a need for deep-rooted solutions to solve the country’s economic problems.

“The recent economic implosion in Zimbabwe calls for critical analysis followed by action in order to rescue the economy,” Mazwi said.

“It would be a grave mistake to reduce the current crisis to political failure as has been suggested by some analysts and political actors.

“The issues are quite deeper and broader hence the emphasis on longue duree approach.”

 “The solution to the economic crisis requires all stakeholders to agree on diagnosis and prognosis,” Mazwi said.

A new survey by Sivio Institute revealed  the majority of citizens believe President Emmerson Mnangagwa is the cause of their suffering.

The findings of the survey show that 57% of the citizens feel that the performance of the central government since 2018 was low, while 40% felt that its performance around the resuscitation of industry was “non-existent”.

The survey by Sivio Institute also showed that the majority of citizens felt that the quality of service provision had decreased, and 48% felt that the government’s performance on stabilising prices had decreased.

Corruption emerged as the leading factor which has constrained the performance of the central government.