Cablegate: Laboring for Worker's Rights
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
281334Z Apr 04
UNCLAS HARARE 000718
STATE FOR AF/S
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER
USDOC FOR AMANDA HILLIGAS
PASS USTR FLORIZELLE LISER
STATE PASS USAID FOR MARJORIE COPSON
USDOL FOR ROBERT YOUNG
E. O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB PHUM ETRD ECON EINV PGOV ZI ZCTU
SUBJECT: Laboring for Worker's Rights
1. (SBU) Summary: Leaders of the Zimbabwe Congress of
Trade Unions (ZCTU) informed EconOff that stayaways and
demonstrations remain their primary campaign weapon.
Meanwhile, ruling party supporters continue to harass
labor leaders in attempts to disrupt May Day festivities.
2. (SBU) As the main voice for the Zimbabwe labor
movement (claiming 300,000 members), the ZCTU views
stayaways and demonstrations as the primary means of
advocacy. Leaders plan to celebrate May Day in 21
different locations in Zimbabwe-highlighting the freedoms
of assembly and press. Zanu-PF supporters have recently
assaulted May Day festivities organizers, beating one
person severely. Zanu-PF activists later released all
3. (SBU) Despite election laws prohibiting unauthorized
voter education, ZCTU plans to continue with a voter
education campaign for the upcoming 2005 parliamentary
4. (U) The AFL-CIO plans to award ZCTU Secretary General
Wellington Chibebe with the George Meany Award in a
Washington DC ceremony sometime in July. This will
hopefully focus international attention to the GOZ's
continuous repression of organized labor.
5. (SBU) Comment: Although committed to advancing
workers' rights and democracy, the ZCTU leadership
appears to have run out of ideas. The stayaways and
demonstrations have not worked, yet this continues as the
main thrust of their campaign. Perhaps the voter
education drive will kick-off a new period of activism.