Considering informal employees on International Workers Day

Considering informal employees on International Workers Day
Published: 21 April 2017 (307 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

Girlfriend hires foreign hitmen

by Staff reporter | 12 December 2017 | 250 Views

'Rate killer to save marriage'

by Staff reporter | 12 December 2017 | 164 Views

Man soils himself at a shrine while queuing to consult a prophet

by Staff reporter | 12 December 2017 | 172 Views

Mugabe's first trip since ouster

by Staff reporter | 12 December 2017 | 181 Views

Mugabe's 'obedient son' sought 'divine intervention'

by Staff reporter | 12 December 2017 | 212 Views

Poet praises Chiwenga

by Farai Shawn Matiashe in Mutare | 12 December 2017 | 113 Views

Mnangagwa's Politburo postponed

by Staff reporter | 12 December 2017 | 120 Views

'Dokora's curriculum to stay,' says Prof Mavima

by Staff reporter | 12 December 2017 | 72 Views

Military warn 'misguided' elements

by Staff reporter | 12 December 2017 | 101 Views

PHOTO: Cops weed photo goes viral

by Staff Reporter | 12 December 2017 | 183 Views

Kangai sued for $2m by NetOne

by Staff reporter | 12 December 2017 | 87 Views

CIO spy's appetite for Maleme farm still on

by Benson Mume | 12 December 2017 | 151 Views

Mpofu rallies his troops behind ED's vision

by Tamara Mutowa | 12 December 2017 | 136 Views

Fears for second Gukurahundi grip Mthwakazi - MLF

by MLF | 12 December 2017 | 163 Views

President Mnangagwa on the social media

by Leonard Koni | 12 December 2017 | 311 Views

Mpofu pledges support for BVR exercise

by Charles Motsi | 12 December 2017 | 94 Views

WATCH: Fuel shortages hit parts of Zimbabwe

by Simbarashe Sithole | 12 December 2017 | 154 Views

Bulawayo runs out of burial space, again

by Staff reporter | 12 December 2017 | 102 Views

Liquid Telecoms rapped for lack of back-up systems

by Staff reporter | 12 December 2017 | 96 Views

Cop steals friend's payslip, buys phone

by Staff reporter | 12 December 2017 | 108 Views

'Illegal to offer extra lessons for a fee'

by Staff reporter | 12 December 2017 | 91 Views

Dad beats daughter to death

by Staff reporter | 12 December 2017 | 122 Views

Mnangagwa meets provincial chairs

by Staff reporter | 12 December 2017 | 101 Views

62 in burning bus

by Staff reporter | 12 December 2017 | 144 Views

Man kills stepdaughter to please own mother

by Staff reporter | 12 December 2017 | 122 Views

Fresh bidding for Egodini project

by Staff reporter | 12 December 2017 | 67 Views

Masuku slams hero worship culture

by Staff reporter | 12 December 2017 | 94 Views

Zimbabwe accused 'murderer' in Botswana prison for 5 years

by Mmegi | 12 December 2017 | 90 Views

Guvamatanga quits Barclays

by Staff reporter | 12 December 2017 | 108 Views

Civil servants on bonuses

by Staff reporter | 12 December 2017 | 126 Views

Zimbabweans panic as permit deadline approaches

by CAJ News | 12 December 2017 | 90 Views

Peter Ndlovu not yet ready for Warriors

by Staff reporter | 12 December 2017 | 99 Views

Politburo kickstarts Zanu-PF Congress

by Staff reporter | 12 December 2017 | 93 Views

Ncube assumes 100% stake in AMH, sale M&G stake

by Staff reporter | 12 December 2017 | 68 Views

Bata invests $500 000 in gumboot plant

by Staff reporter | 12 December 2017 | 100 Views

Residents demonstrate over substandard houses

by Staff reporter | 12 December 2017 | 68 Views