(Last Updated on July 28, 2021 by zimdaily)
HARARE – The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) says they are to challenge the no vaccination no job policy which has put unvaccinated workers at risk of losing their jobs.
The labour union is challenging the policy stating that its unlawful and discriminatory.
Government and its parastatal have recently implemented a policy barring entry of all unvaccinated employees to workplaces.
Initially President Mnangagwa announced that no one will be forced to take the vaccine, but a change in the stance is being seen probably due to vaccine hesitancy.
Various companies have been notifying workers that they risk being fired if they are not vaccinated against COVID19.
However , ZCTU president Peter Mutasa said the barring is unlawful discrimination and they are going to challenge it n court.
“The government has not come up with a law. Each employer is doing what they want, the government departments are doing what they want, and this is clearly unlawful.”
“That is unfair discrimination, so as labour we are already going to court. We are going to challenge the constitutionality of those pronouncements and those practices, and we believe we are on the right side of the constitution. This is arbitrarily being done, this is unlawful, and this is unconstitutional,” he said.
He added that the government must promulgate a written law that can spell out clearly what is expected from workers and what is expected from employers.
Last week government announced they will be prioritising those who have been vaccinated.
Ultimatums have since been issued on civil servants to be vaccinated, while unvaccinated workers have been banned from boarding buses provided by the employer.
Mutasa said there has to be a written law first to implement the policy.
“It is only through a written law that can clearly express what are the rights of workers even during the pandemic because workers cannot have all their rights taken away. It is the same written law that can provide the obligation of each part.”
“Employment relationship is a personal contract so both the employer and the employee have got rights and obligations. So, an employer cannot be allowed to arbitrarily determine that if a worker is not fully vaccinated, they are not going to get a full salary. If a worker is not vaccinated, they are not going to use a company vehicle. If the worker is not vaccinated, they are not going to get allowances, that is not right,” he said.
The use of the Chinese Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines, as well as Russia’s Sputnik V and India’s Covaxin have so far been authorised.
Government plans to vaccinate about 10 million people, representing 60% of the population required to reach herd immunity.