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with printing workers strike
Socialist Organisation (ISO)
July 22, 2005
Printing workers led
by the Zimbabwe Graphical Workers Union (ZGWU) are embarking on a nationwide
strike this coming Monday 25/07/05. The workers are putting forward the
- 210% wage increment
- 1.5 million housing
- 300 000 transport
The printing bosses
have refused to meet the workers demands saying they can only award a
40% wage increment. An offer that has been totally rejected by the workers.
The printing minimum wage is currently at 1.5 million and the workers
seek to have this raised to about 4.5 million. Life has become totally
unbearable for workers with the current peanuts they are earning. Prices
of basic commodities are going up everyday, transport fares have more
than trebled in the past two months, rentals have gone up to a million
per room but wages have remained stagnant. Thus the workers have every
reason to be striking. The profit the bosses are making is a result of
the sweat of these poor workers and workers have a right to demand a living
There is massive support
for the strike amongst workers. In a ballot conducted by the union on
28, 29 and 30 June, 98% of the workers supported the strike. The bosses
have been trying to use every trick in the book to scuttle the strike.
After the ballot the bosses sought to have the strike declared illegal.
This failed, the matter was referred to conciliation and a certificate
of no settlement was issued paving way for the workers to proceed with
the strike. Now the bosses have applied to the labour court to have the
matter referred to arbitration but the workers have resolved to go ahead
with the strike regardless of all these machinations. Mobilization has
already reached an advanced stage with zonal planning meetings taking
place in all the zones in which the union is organized.
The ISO stands in
full solidarity with the printing workers in this struggle. Our history
of fighting alongside printing workers shows that victory can only come
through organized struggle. From the time we organized with rank and file
groups culminating in the overthrowing of the old passive union bureaucracy
that had gone for over fifteen years without organizing a congress to
the heroic struggles led by the vibrant new leadership last year, we are
convinced that victory is possible through united workers struggle. Through
struggle printing workers have been able to raise the printing minimum
wage from one of the lowest to one of the highest and are now setting
the pace for other industries. Last year the bosses came to the table
offering 0% increment but the workers were able to win a 140% increment
after a militant strike that saw workers picketing and locking bosses
We call upon workers
in other unions to support this action, including the demonstrations ad
pickets organized by the printers and to put pressure on their own unions
and the ZCTU to call for a living wage nationwide general strike.
Forward with the printing
workers strike! Victory is possible through Struggle!
Messages of solidarity
can be sent to: ZGWU
Tel: +263-4-775 627; Fax: +263-4-775727
the ISO fact
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