THE Employer’s Confederation of Zimbabwe will hold its congress next week, to focus on providing a decent working environment in a recovering economy and boosting worker’s morale.
The congress to be held over three days starting next Wednesday comes at a time when most employers and workers are at loggerheadsÂ over unfavourable working conditions including low wages.
This is evidenced by the failure by most national employment councils to reach minimum wage agreements.
Emcoz director John Mufukare told businessdigest this week that the congress will be held in Victoria Falls to find ways to motivate workers through decent work.
“Achieving competitiveness on the back of low wages alone is not a sustainable business strategy as underpaid workers are not motivated,” Mufukare said.
“To ignite our economy, we need a fired up workforce. To fire up our workforce we must practise decent work,” he said.
Mafukare said decent work is based on four pillars which are promotion of ILO labour standards and fundamental principles and rights at work, creation of employment, strengthening of social protection and social dialogue.
He said that this could only be achieved through increasing formal employment which has been drastically reduced over the last decade due to company closures and retrenchments caused by economic decline. The recovery, Mufukare said, from the financial doldrums will be negated by the low morale of workers due to unfavourable working conditions.
“The green shoots of economic recovery that are beginning to become evident in Zimbabwe are in real danger of withering on the back of industrial relations instability,” he said.
Â The congress, he said, is expected to come up with concrete ways of implementing the decent work agenda for achieving competitiveness.
He said the outcome of the congress will be shared with organised labour with a view to having informed collective bargaining and negotiation for the remaining quarter of the year.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai will open the congress and speak on how the government was addressing political challenges to business operations.
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara will have a dialogue with business on how the government can assist them to become competitive again. Labour minister Paurina Mpariwa is expected to give her vision on how the Tripartite Negotiating Forum can ignite productivity and competitiveness.