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and position concerning Labour Amendment Bill; HB 1/2005
Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare
Extracted from The Herald
August 04, 2005
Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) flighted an advertisement in The
Standard of 24th July, 2005 entitled "ZCTU's position on Labour
Amendment Bill" HB 1/2005.
Over and above
simply restating certain clauses in the Bill, ZCTU expressed "shock
and disappointment to a number of the provisions in the Labour Amendment
HB 1/2005 because there was no consultation and the Amendment had
already gone through its first reading in Parliament
Whereas it is
true that HB 1/2005 has gone through the first reading in Parliament,
it is factual misrepresentation to say there was no consultation
in coming up with HB 1/2005.
as a social partner, in a communication dated 26th May, 2004 and
signed by its Secretary General submitted to the Ministry of Public
Service, Labour and Social Welfare its proposals to be considered
for inclusion in amending the Labour Act. These submissions were
at the instance of the Ministry.
partners which forwarded inputs on request were the Public Service
Commission, the Public Service Association, the Apex Council, the
Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Federation of Trade
HB 1/2005 was
founded upon contribution from all these Social partners.
To say ZCTU
was not consulted or that there were no consultants at all, whether
with respect to the whole Bill or certain of its provisions is misleading.
made contributions in respect of provisions which touched on their
ZCTU is not the exclusive labour voice nor is it the only other
employers and other social partners had to be taken on board as
well. The legislation process in the circumstances is a balancing
into specifics suffice it to say the current Labour Act does not
bar civil servants from collective bargaining.
Nor does the
intended housing of civil servants specifically and particularly
under the Public Service Act bar civil servants from Collective
Bargaining as envisaged in ILO Conventions. The placing of Civil
Servants under the Public Service Act is in accordance with the
Constitution of Zimbabwe, which is the Supreme Law in the Country.
unjustifiably misleads the reading public by alleging that Government
committed itself "to look into the Constitutional Amendment
and consider the application of the Labour Act in the Prison Service
" at the 2004 ILO Conference.
stated at the ILO 2004 was that having the Prison Service included
in the application of the Labour Act was a Constitutional Question,
which was beyond the scope of the Ministry of Labour alone. The
Ministry of Labour has no capacity to singularly effect Constitutional
Amendments as it may with respect to the Labour Act or other Acts
under its mandate.
No such assurances
were therefore given by this Ministry.
It is worth
to note that the ZCTU repeated this falsehood at the 2005 93rd Session
of the ILO in June.
HB 1/ 2005 was a product of a Consultative process with the social
partners. There was no obligation however to take on board positions
which ran contrary to National Policy or which unduly trampled on
the rights and interests of other social partners.
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