2015 ITUC Global Rights Index Rating: 5

March blocked by police:

On 18 February 2015, the Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) was not permitted to hold a march on the Global Day of Action for the Right to Strike called by the ITUC. Police blocked the march demanding the PTUZ to produce a clearance letter from the Public Service Commission, provide details of the marchers and registration numbers of vehicles to be used. The union had notified police about the march seven days in advance.

ZANU-PF interference in demonstration:

On 11 April 2015, members of Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF attempted to intimidate ZCTU members during the nation-wide demonstration in Bulawayo and Gweru and distributed flyers which claimed that the protests had been cancelled with false signatures. Some ZCTU members had to lock themselves inside the union building as ZANU-PF besieged the regional offices in Bulawayo. The demonstrations aimed to highlight a range of issues affecting workers, including the decision to freeze and cut salaries, introduce labour market flexibility, the non or late payment of workers' salaries, and the failure to pass on membership subscriptions to the unions – all contrary to existing collective agreements.

Union registration:

In 2012, 850 workers at Bata Shoe Company based in Gweru withdrew their membership from the Zimbabwe Leather Shoe and Allied Workers Union and formed a new union centre, the Zimbabwe Footwear Tanners and Allied Workers' Union (ZFTAWU). On 2 August 2013, the notice of application for registration was published in the government Gazette General Notice 379/2013. The Zimbabwe Leather Shoe and Allied Workers Union opposed the registration of the new union but ZFTAWU never received the opposing papers. On 9 January 2015, the registrar made a decision denying registration on the grounds that the union only represented a minority of workers. On 19 February 2015, ZFTAWU filed a complaint with the Labour Court.

The ITUC Global Rights Index Ratings:

1 // Irregular violation of rights
Collective labour rights are generally guaranteed. Workers can freely associate and defend their rights collectively with the government and/or companies and can improve their working conditions through collective bargaining. Violations against workers are not absent but do not occur on a regular basis.

2 // Repeated violation of rights
Countries with a rating of 2 have slightly weaker collective labour rights than those with the rating 1. Certain rights have come under repeated attacks by governments and/or companies and have undermined the struggle for better working conditions.

3 // Regular violation of rights
Governments and/or companies are regularly interfering in collective labour rights or are failing to fully guarantee important aspects of these rights. There are deficiencies in laws and/or certain practices which make frequent violations possible.

4 // Systematic violation of rights
Workers in countries with the rating 4 have reported systematic violations. The government and/or companies are engaged in serious efforts to crush the collective voice of workers putting fundamental rights under threat.

5 // No guarantee of rights
Countries with the rating of 5 are the worst countries in the world to work in. While the legislation may spell out certain rights workers have effectively no access to these rights and are therefore exposed to autocratic regimes and unfair labour practices.

5+ // No guarantee of rights due to the breakdown of the rule of law
Workers in countries with the rating 5+ have equally limited rights as countries with the rating 5. However, in countries with the rating 5+ this is linked to dysfunctional institutions as a result of internal conflict and/or military occupation. In such cases, the country is assigned the rating of 5+ by default.

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