Considering informal employees on International Workers Day

Considering informal employees on International Workers Day
Published: 21 April 2017 (376 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

 0

You May Like These Videos

Comments

There are no comments.

Latest stories

Bulawayo Chiefs stun FC Platinum

by Staff reporter | 21 April 2018 | 67 Views

Cuthbert Dube demands $918,000 from Chiyangwa's Zifa

by Staff reporter | 21 April 2018 | 77 Views

Zanu-PF releases names of aspiring candidates

by Staff reporter | 21 April 2018 | 135 Views

Khupe elected MDC-T president, Gutu deputy

by Staff reporter | 21 April 2018 | 136 Views

Mwonzora' daughter ditches Chamisa, supports Khupe

by Staff reporter | 21 April 2018 | 130 Views

'I survived the Mugabe and Wenger eras'

by Staff Reporter | 21 April 2018 | 172 Views

Sacked Zimbabwe nurses get public support

by Staff Reporter | 21 April 2018 | 192 Views

UK wants Zimbabwe back in the Commonwealth

by AFP | 21 April 2018 | 140 Views

Celebrating Independence Day

by Chikuni Gaba | 21 April 2018 | 96 Views

Illegal miners feared dead as mine shaft collapses

by Simbarashe Sithole | 21 April 2018 | 104 Views

Chamisa heightens efforts to court G40 cabal members

by Staff Reporter | 21 April 2018 | 104 Views

Khupe faces moment of truth

by Staff Reporter | 21 April 2018 | 122 Views

Beitbridge attains municipality status

by Staff Reporter | 21 April 2018 | 72 Views

Constitutional Court rules expulsion from Parliament urgent

by Staff Reporter | 21 April 2018 | 67 Views

Man bashes Ex-wife for 'infecting him with HIV'

by Staff Reporter | 21 April 2018 | 76 Views

Mafikizolo, Mi Casa, Dana lead Sama nominees

by Staff Reporter | 21 April 2018 | 64 Views

How am I making the life of my Mthwakazi brother better

by unknown | 21 April 2018 | 69 Views

MDC Alliance on a knife edge

by Staff Reporter | 21 April 2018 | 92 Views

Mudede in ID mop-up exercise

by Staff reporter | 21 April 2018 | 73 Views

Bosso take on unpredictable Shabanie

by Staff reporter | 21 April 2018 | 86 Views

+15 gold panners feared dead after 24hr-trap

by Staff reporter | 21 April 2018 | 65 Views

Khupe expulsion case urgent

by Staff reporter | 21 April 2018 | 81 Views

SRC hits back at Chiyangwa

by Staff reporter | 21 April 2018 | 74 Views

Mr Cooper joins Talen Vision

by Staff reporter | 21 April 2018 | 73 Views

Chiyangwa slams ex-SA ref Ngcobo after expose

by Staff reporter | 21 April 2018 | 90 Views

Mnangagwa is not presidential material comments haunt Kaseke

by Staff reporter | 21 April 2018 | 81 Views

Vehicle registration fees slashed by 50%

by Staff reporter | 21 April 2018 | 69 Views

Fired nurses served with dismissal letters

by Staff reporter | 21 April 2018 | 56 Views

MDC-T congress kicks off in Bulawayo

by Staff reporter | 21 April 2018 | 46 Views

Meet the soldier who read Mugabe the riot act

by Staff reporter | 21 April 2018 | 58 Views

Zanu-PF Politburo approves candidates

by Staff reporter | 21 April 2018 | 40 Views

Acid woman to sue police officers

by Staff reporter | 21 April 2018 | 50 Views

Mnangagwa using military's 'spider-web' campaign strategy

by Staff reporter | 21 April 2018 | 140 Views

Thomas Mapfumo keen to unite Mnangagwa, Chamisa

by Staff reporter | 21 April 2018 | 53 Views

Zuma's 24 year old lover gave birth to baby boy on JZ's birthday

by Staff rpeorter | 21 April 2018 | 45 Views

Mujuru rolls out umbrella campaigns

by Staff reporter | 21 April 2018 | 41 Views