ILO talks with government on labor rights abuses -Newsday Zimbabwe

THE International Labor Organization is confronting the government with accusations of intimidating and harassing union leaders whenever they demand better wages and working conditions.

THE International Labor Organization is confronting the government with accusations of intimidating and harassing union leaders whenever they demand better wages and working conditions.

Earlier this month, the Amalgamated Union of Rural Teachers of Zimbabwe (Artuz) lodged a complaint with the ILO about abuses against union leaders.

The complaint was addressed to the president of the ILO Committee on Freedom and Association, Evance Rabban Kaluta, and Karen Curtis, director general of the Freedom of Association and International Labor Standards Section of the international labor body.

In its response on May 16, the ILO said it would contact the government about the allegations before they were examined by the ILO governing body committee.

“In accordance with current procedure, the text of your communication will be transmitted to the government for its observations,” Curtis said in the letter addressed to Artuz.

“However, the committee will proceed to examine the merits of the case even if the government’s observations have not been received after a reasonable period of time.”

Curtis urged Artuz to present more evidence to support his case.

“Please note that it would also help the Committee on Freedom of Association if it included in these observations all information on any administrative or judicial action related to the alleged facts, as well as their results,” Curtis said.

“I would like to draw your attention to the fact that in its 393rd report of March 2021, paragraph 17, the Committee on Freedom of Association approved a number of measures regarding the functioning of the procedure provided for the examination of complaints.”

The measures included agreements for optional voluntary conciliation at the national level where it would be possible to request ILO technical assistance.

“Using these new procedures would require the agreement of your organization, as the plaintiff, in addition to that of your government,” Curtis added.

State workers are currently at odds with the government over a pay dispute, demanding remuneration equivalent to October 2018 salaries, when they earned exclusively in US dollars.

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