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Labour Groups, Ministers Urge Mugabe to Stop Massive Workers' Retrenchment

FILE: Some workers of the National Railways of Zimbabwe stage peaceful protests in Zimbabwe's second largest city, Bulawayo.

Cabinet ministers and labor leaders, who met in Harare on Tuesday, agreed to request President Robert Mugabe to evoke his presidential temporary powers as a stop gap measure to end the “massive retrenchment” of workers following a Supreme Court ruling Friday that workers’ contracts can be terminated with only a three-month notice and employees are not entitled to any retrenchment package.

Labour Minister Priscah Mupfumira and Economic Planning Minister Simon Khaya Moyo met labor leaders from the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions.

ZCTU president George Nkiwane told Studio 7 that all parties agreed that Mr. Mugabe should intervene.

“We all agreed that once Mr. Mugabe returns from Equatorial Guinea he needs to gazette a law to protect workers.”

President Mugabe, who is the chairperson of the African Union, is currently attending an international conference on Africa’s fight against Ebola in Malabo.

Presidential edicts under the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act are only enforceable for a maximum period of six months from the date of their promulgation after which they automatically lapse.

This week, Mr. Mugabe evoked presidential powers to protect the Premier Service Medical Aid Society's property from being attached by service providers who are suing it for debts that run into millions of dollars.

The move means the service providers will not be able to attach the society's property and have to seek other means to recover their money.