Zimbabwe moves to stop 'senseless' job losses – report
Cape Town – A bill that seeks to protect Zimbabwe’s employers and employees is expected to be gazetted in parliament on Friday after thousands lost their jobs in the past few weeks, a report said.
Zimbabwe's struggling companies embarked on massive retrenchments following a controversial ruling by the country’s Supreme Court last month that gave employers the leeway to terminate job contracts by giving workers just three months notice.
Reports indicated that close to 20 000 people had already been thrown onto the streets as employers continued to capitalise on the ruling.
Previously, employers had to follow laborious procedures and pay hefty severance packages before they could fire or retrench workers.
Zimbabwe's main labour union recently warned that workers would take to the streets to vent their anger and displeasure over what it termed "senseless" job losses. But an attempt to do so over the weekend was blocked by police.
'We do not want to see people on the streets'
A report by the state-owned Chronicle newspaper on Thursday said there was hope for employees as parliament prepared to kick-start the process to stop further job losses.
"If passed into law, the Act is expected to bring relief to workers who have since lost job security as employers can just fire them willy-nilly," the report said.
This comes after President Robert Mugabe recently slammed the wave of job losses, saying laws would be amended to protect workers.
"If the law is going to create problems for the people, that law must be amended... We do not want to see people on the streets and do not like people being fired from work. We are going to look at the law because the law is an ass," Mugabe was quoted as saying.
Mugabe was expected to summon parliament soon to attend to the bill.