Considering informal employees on International Workers Day

Considering informal employees on International Workers Day
Published: 21 April 2017 (346 Views)
On the 1st of May every year, Zimbabwe joins the rest of the world in celebrating International Workers' Day.  International Workers Day originated in the late 19th century when several United States of America labour movements went on strike, demanding a standard workday of eight hours. The Workers' Day celebrations date back to 1 May 1886.


May Day, as the day is sometimes called, is normally celebrated to promote the requirement of eight-hour work day and better working conditions for employees especially in the formal sector. Previously, the working conditions of both public and private employees were very dismal, as they would work for 10 to 16 hours a day sometimes in appalling and unsafe conditions. Deaths, injuries and other dreadful conditions were very common at the workplace during the 19th century. Such sub human conditions were barriers to national development in most countries until the eight hour workday was declared and working conditions improved.

As we celebrate Workers' Day this year, the country needs to spare a thought for informal sector workers as they currently constitute the bulk of workers in our economy.

The International Labor Office defines the informal economy as, ‘all economic activities by workers or economic units that are in practice and not covered or sufficiently covered by formal arrangements.'

Hence, the informal economy has become an integral part of our economy and its future development.

The country can ignore this sector at its own peril as both formal and informal sector players contribute immensely to the growth of the nation.   Players in the informal sector include cross border traders, vendors, carpenters and various workmen among others. The majority of the work done by these informal employees is usually carried out by a single person. For instance, some sell their products from covered stalls such as Gulf complex while others sell their wares at open spaces. However, most of these informal traders live and work under precarious conditions. Some players in the informal sector operate at places where there are no toilets, exposing themselves to a sure health hazard.

The informal workers may be invisible to some, but they play an important role in boosting the country's economy with reports alleging that they contribute about 40% of the GDP.  Hence, May Day should be a day where responsible authorities should endeavour to address the challenges that are faced by informal employees across the nation. On the other hand, informal employees should be encouraged to act in an organised manner so that local authorities recognize their labour rights and improve their working conditions.

For so long, informal workers were not recognized as workers who are eligible to be covered by labour standards and social protection. However, like any other employees, informal traders need access to social security. Employees in the informal sector should be encouraged to form their workers union that represent them on issues to do with the improvement of their working conditions.

As May Day nears, employees in the civil service should also join the rest of the world in the commemorations. It is laudable that Government, which is the biggest employer is doing its best to improve the living standards of its workers despite the harsh economic environment that the country is currently encountering.  

 Some scholars believe that without labour nothing prospers. Therefore, all workers across the nation should be encouraged to work extra hard so as to turn around Zimbabwe's economic fortunes.

- Peacemaker Zano


You May Like These Videos


There are no comments.

Latest stories

'Learn to appreciate good deeds,' Adv. Mahere told

by Simbarashe Sithole | 21 February 2018 | 173 Views

Pastor fails to pay maintenance

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2018 | 139 Views

Hooker stabs client to death

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2018 | 145 Views

Elizabeth Tsvangirai story: A true mirror of human rights encroachments faced by widows in Zimbabwe

by Patience Sibanda (intern at Zimbabwe Democracy Institute) | 21 February 2018 | 237 Views

'Chamisa now unstoppable'

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2018 | 223 Views

Tshinga Dube wades into 'foreign' labour saga

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2018 | 145 Views

Mnangagwa's govt fails to pay bonuses

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2018 | 88 Views

Zanu-PF MP's son shot

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2018 | 110 Views

Chamisa bemoans violence against party leaders

by Stephen Jakes | 21 February 2018 | 145 Views

Mnangagwa commissions NRZ rolling stock

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2018 | 87 Views

Ban on kombis in CBD slammed

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2018 | 250 Views

Mahamat of supporting a coup government in Zimbabwe

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2018 | 94 Views

President Mugabe's 94th birthday photos

by Staff Reporter | 21 February 2018 | 941 Views

Mugabe feeling 'unloved' on his 94th birthday

by BBC - Brian Hungwe | 21 February 2018 | 153 Views

What peace and reconciliation without truth

by S.V Mabhena | 21 February 2018 | 71 Views

MDC-T splits as Obert Gutu quits MDC-Chamisa

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2018 | 174 Views

US to withdraw MDC-T funding over terror attacks on Khupe?

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2018 | 149 Views

Turning blind eye on violence, root cause of MDC split - Coltart

by Simbarashe Mwandipendaa | 21 February 2018 | 86 Views

PICTURES: Bhalagwe memorial service

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2018 | 72 Views

The Menzisi Dube Foundation Appeal

by Agencies | 21 February 2018 | 51 Views

Billy Graham dies

by BBC | 21 February 2018 | 99 Views

Happy national youth day comrades

by NPP National Youth | 21 February 2018 | 108 Views

Happy Birthday Baba Bona

by Belinda Chowa | 21 February 2018 | 260 Views

WATCH: The moment Khupe was attacked by Chamisa's supporters

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2018 | 148 Views

Zhuwao 'reacts angrily' as AU supports Mnangagwa' - report

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2018 | 93 Views

WATCH: Chamisa supporters called Khupe a dissident

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2018 | 157 Views

Chamisa apologise but tells Khupe to go to Mars

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2018 | 160 Views

The politics of gender and tribe must fall - NPP Youths

by Khulani David Ndlovu | 21 February 2018 | 77 Views

Econet Media's Kwesé and iflix Deepen Partnership

by APO | 21 February 2018 | 102 Views

Khupe attackers were chanting Chamisa slogans

by Simbarashe Sithole | 21 February 2018 | 96 Views

Mujuru in Buhera

by Advocate Gift Nyandoro | 21 February 2018 | 89 Views

Attack on Khupe a Gukurahundist replica

by Mkhululi Zulu | 21 February 2018 | 114 Views

Thank You Zimbabwe - MDC-T

by Luke Tamborinyoka | 21 February 2018 | 190 Views

No lavish 94th birthday celebrations for Mugabe

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2018 | 225 Views

Mnangagwa's emissary humiliated at Tsvangirai burial

by Staff reporetr | 21 February 2018 | 139 Views

Mutambara whip up MDC-T crowd with partisan speech

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2018 | 140 Views

Chamisa invaded Tsvangirai's most private space

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2018 | 164 Views

Kaseke, ministry official clash over Mzembi

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2018 | 97 Views