Crackdown on Zimbabwe’s Workers Escalates

Country: Zimbabwe
February 19, 2019

On January 12, 2019, the government of Zimbabwe announced a fuel price hike of 150% to generate revenue for the government, which is currently facing severe budget deficits. In response, widespread protests broke out, and labor unions announced their intention to lead a nationwide, three-day strike. The resulting crackdown saw 12 deaths and the arrests of Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions‘s (ZCTU) President, Peter Mutasa, and Secretary General, Japhet Moyo. The two were “charged with subversion for ‘mobilizing the nation to participate in anti-fuel hike protests,'” reports the Solidarity Center—a labor rights organization.

Labor unions have led numerous protests over the past six months against deteriorating economic conditions, which include commodity shortages and rapid inflation. With 94% of the Zimbabweans workforce “[struggling] to survive on less than $1 a day,” the ability of workers to bargain for a living wage through their right to freedom of assembly and association is paramount. The World Movement joins the ZCTU in calling on authorities in Zimbabwe to respect workers’ fundamental rights and to cease harassment of labor organizations. Read more about the recent crackdown in Zimbabwe here.


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