By Staff Writer
THE International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has called on the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) to place young workers at the center of its operations as a strategy to rejuvenate the country’s labor struggle.
Speaking at the ongoing ZCTU Young Workers Policy review which kicked off in Harare Thursday, Alex Nkosi of the Africa Regional Organisation of the ITUC said it is important to position youths because they have been at the center of the struggle for too long.
“Historical accounts on Africa’s trade union development emphasises the significance of youth in transforming labor policy advocacy and politics.
” This youth led influence was most impactful during the struggle for independence and also, much later, during the struggle for independence and also, much later during the era of wind of change when citizens across the continent agitated for a democratic dispensation,” he said.
He bemoaned the fact that currently, many young workers are entering the labor market without appreciation of the historical contestation between labor and capital underscoring that the link between shop floor and broader societal socio-economic injustices that facilitated young people’s desire to participate in trade union politics is now very weak.
“The link between youth civic participation and transition into trade union activism has not been sustained. Today, younger workers are likely than older workers to be members of a trade union.
“We are here to change that in Harare, Zimbabwe we are participating in the Young Workers Policy Review Workshop. Youth policies are key in integrating the youth into trade unions and revitalizing the movement to ensure inclusivity,” added Nkosi.
Also speaking at the workshop ZCTU’s head of the national organising department, Michael Kandukutu said the exercise will further refine the document which was crafted over a decade ago.
“The ZCTU Young Workers meet once again to review the Young Workers Policy which was formulated in 2011. The review of the ZCTU Young Workers Policy takes into consideration the dynamics prevailing in the current Labour market environment,” he said.
He added that these dynamics include the fourth industrial revolution, COVID 19, Labor Market flexibility, and wage theft which is on an unprecedented rise underscoring that the policy seeks to provide key policy responses on issues that the Young workers widely feel about.