ZEWU attends NUM Congress

Zimbabwe Energy Workers Union (ZEWU)

The Zimbabwe Energy Workers Union (ZEWU) general secretary, Martin Chikuni said the union felt honoured to be invited to the 16th Congress of the National Union of Mineworkers in South Africa which was held from the 21st to the 23rd of June 2018.
The massive event was attended by over 600 delegates and 83 invited guests representing various fraternal organizations from different parts of the world.
“Indeed, it was an eye opener to us to be part of such a huge indaba. We came there richer and the exchange of experiences and information with other colleagues was beneficial to us,” said Chikuni.
In a solidarity message, Chikuni said the Congress was held at a time when the world of work is dominated by global capital with its insatiable appetite for profit maximization.
Workers, he said were living under the ever-looming threats and realities of overworking, underpayments, retrenchments and all forms of precarious work.
“This congress gives us the platform to learn from each other’s experiences, compare notes and strategize on how best to ameliorate this global capital onslaught that treats labor as a commodity and seeks to condemn it to permanent subjugation.
“We hold in high esteem NUM for being there to promote the workers’ cause the world over,” Chikuni said.
He said ZEWU was prepared to work with NUM and other progressive social movements that seek to protect, promote and advance the interests of workers.
He bemoaned women as the worst victims of the neo-liberal policies of Economic Structural Adjustment Programs, Special Economic Zones and Restructuring which all result in job losses, overworking and underpayments.
Turning on to Africa, the ZEWU general secretary said unions have not been spared the vagaries of global capitalism and its consequences evidenced by company closures and retrenchments on a massive scale.
The congress was also attended by South African president Cyril Ramaphosa who is one of the founding members of NUM in 1983.
Chikuni was accompanied by ZEWU 1st trustee Peter Shotere who spoke highly of the manner the event was organised which he said posed a challenge to other unions to emulate.
Shotere said NUM demonstrated its maturity despite efforts by former president, Angeline Chitambo, who wanted officials from ZEWU to be barred from attending the congress.
“She came with eggs on her face. It was a huge embarrassment,” Shotere said.
Shotere took advantage of the gathering to explain to leaders of sister unions in the region ZEWU’s position regarding former president Angeline Chitambo’s dismissal from the union.

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