Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has somersaulted in pursuing differences with other trade unions ahead of this year’s May Day commemorations, in an effort to prioritize workers’ welfare.
In statement posted on social media addressing its members, PTUZ secretary general Raymond Majongwe disclosed that the Trade Union Congress of Zimbabwe’s (TUCZ) meeting approved joining hands with ZCTU in Worker’s Day celebrations, under TUCZ theme ‘Workers of Zimbabwe Unite Now or Perish’.
“Cdes, on May 1st, let us speak with one voice. Our TUCZ theme is, Workers of Zimbabwe Unite Now or Perish. We have communicated this to the ZCTU and we have come to an agreement as they will gladly welcome us. We spoke to the ZCTU secretary general, Cde Japhet Moyo who intimated that they were also formally writing to us and inviting us.
“We are elated as this is the time to put our difference aside and put workers’ welfare as a priority. This government has proved that they have no plan for the workers at all. Their militaristic response given to the nurses’ strike is a lesson for all of us, as we are clearly being shown that our concerns and welfare mean nothing to them.
“An injury to one is an injury to all, therefore we must unite lest we perish. The teachers are next in line; they have silently threatened us already. They have shown us that they are merciless and brutal,” said Majongwe.
He further unpacked PTUZ’s discontent on Apex Council’s unsuitability to tackle teachers’ specific issues.
He said, “Government created a non-existent animal called the Apex Council and systematically dangled a poisoned carrot at the gullible salivating workers. Cdes, we have many sector- specific issues that Apex Council cannot tackle. The Apex council lacks everything ranging from the necessary acumen, skill, depth and militancy to the charisma to do it.”
Government has capitalized on detachment and mushrooming of trade unions, which has weakened the power of workers’ representatives and causing discord in pursuing workers grievances in Zimbabwe.
May Day celebrations in the past years was being celebrated in a divisive fashion with trade union events allegedly being politicized.