The group says it wants to lobby the companies to adopt policies with a bias towards giving local youths first preference for job openings. Analysts said the move shows growing frustration by locals over being sidelined for jobs, a situation that has also heightened calls for secession by militant pressure groups like the Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF) based in Bulawayo.
They said the growing frustration could be the reason why Zanu-PF youths in Bulawayo have been grabbing Indian owned buildings as a way of empowering themselves because of lack of jobs.
Mbuso Fuzwayo, the coordinator of the pressure group said giving locally-based youths first preference for jobs is necessary to put a stop to crime by unemployed youths who would be desperate to eke out a living.
Fuzwayo said having such employment policies will also end the violent grabbing of buildings by Zanu PF youths.
“Youths in Bulawayo are loitering without jobs and some are being forced into crime as some companies, especially supermarkets, continue to open new branches in the city but employ outsiders,” Fuzwayo said.
“We demand that companies desist from importing labour from other areas when there are numerous unemployed youths in every area who can be engaged.”
But Japhet Moyo, the newly elected Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions secretary general said such issues were governed by the Labour Act.
“Concerns over conditions of employment and inequalities at work can only be addressed procedures contained in the Labour Act,” he said.
“It is a bit strange that people and organisations that have nothing to do with labour issues are therefore encroaching into labour issues.
“We are worried about their agenda. As ZCTU, we view it as a political agenda. It is tantamount to company invasions.”
A number of unemployed youths in Bulawayo continue to trek to neighbouring countries like South Africa and Botswana in search of jobs due to lack of job opportunities in the city.
IBHETSHU STAGED PROTEST AT TM SUPERMARKET
Ibhetshu LikaZulu recently organised a protest against TM Supermarket’s decision to overlook local labour for their new Cowdray Park branch. Angry demonstrators waved placards with messages such as: “No to regional imperialism.”
In a petition, Ibhetshu Likazulu demanded that the supermarket give first preference to locals for employment. Fuzwayo added: “You find a new branch being set up and the next thing you find it open with a full staff complement of outsiders yet there would not have been any adverts flighted in the newspapers about job vacancies.”