Every year on the 1st  of May, the world focuses on the needs and rights of workers. Workers and nations celebrate Workers’ Day in different ways.

As we celebrate Workers’ Day this year, we sadly note the astronomical numbers of informal workers in Zimbabwe and the decent work deficits in the formal economy, characterised by poor working conditions and inadequate salaries. Occupational health and safety remain very key in achievement of decent work standards. Health and safety cannot be achieved if we ignore the issues and effects of climate change on the environment, communities and workers in all spheres and sectors.

In order to achieve decent work standards, there is need for conscious, deliberate, consistent and honest efforts to eliminate poverty, corruption and oppression of any form. Processes, engagement and decisions on the approaches to freedom from poverty, corruption and oppression must involve all stakeholders and workers from all sectors, including workers in the informal economy.

Despite all the challenges, poverty and decline of decent employment, we celebrate workers’ tenacity and consistent ability to fight for equality and dignity. This year marks the 5th anniversary of the International Labour Organisation Convention 190 on the Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the world of work. We call on the Zimbabwean government to join other governments in ratifying Convention 190.

Happy Workers’ Day fellow workers, as we continue to struggle for our rights and dignity.

Nothing For Us Without Us

Viva Workers Vivaa!

Lorraine Ndhlovu

National President of the Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Associations (ZCIEA) and President of StreetNet International.