HomeEditorial CommentZCTU: Get vaccinated or get out of work

ZCTU: Get vaccinated or get out of work

THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has threatened to sue the government for its “no-jab-no-work” policy which bars any unvaccinated civil service and parastatal worker from entering government premises and will take away medical Covid-19 insurance from the unvaccinated. This new policy is meant to curb the spread of the Covid-19 whose Delta variant is causing havoc across the country.

Candid Comment
Nevanji Madanhire

ZCTU president Peter Mutasa’s suit can only be described as frivolous and vexatious. Mutasa argues that because the government has not promulgated a law to that effect then any move to discriminate against unvaccinated workers is illegal.

“That is unfair discrimination, so as labour we are already going to court. We are going to challenge the constitutionality of those pronouncements and those practices, and we believe we are on the right side of the constitution. This is arbitrarily being done, this is unlawful, and this is unconstitutional,” he argues. Mutasa is very likely echoing the sentiments of the French far-right which this week invaded streets protesting against President Emmanuel Macron’s new rules to fight the spread of Covid-19.

In France the fringe far-right which comprises mostly conservative racist groups describe Macron’s policies as “health dictatorship”. Macron’s new rules postulate that anyone who wants to visit cafes, bars or shopping centres must show a “health pass” that certifies they have been vaccinated or recently tested negative for the coronavirus. The conservative fringe does not like this, comparing Macron to Adolf Hitler. Mutasa’s outrage is also couched in the language of this lunatic fringe. Little does he know that despite the protests in the streets, the majority French people have embraced vaccination as the only way to return the country to normal. The uptake of vaccination in France increased dramatically soon after the pronouncements.

Mutasa should also keep himself up to speed with what is happening in other parts of the world. All over the world, governments are putting in place new rules as a way of fighting the coronavirus, particularly the Delta strain. This week, for example corporate America, has been speaking with one voice urging everyone to get vaccinated. The message was clear: “Get vaccinated or get out!” This was what the big corporations including the giants of Silicon Valley were telling their people. These big American corporations were mandating that employees get the Covid-19 vaccination, especially those returning to the office. Without the jab, the messaging was crystal clear and President Joe Biden was also unequivocal in his stance ordering all federal workers to be vaccinated.

In Zimbabwe some big companies, such as Seed Co, have taken the same stance and must be applauded for this. They have procured vaccines for their workers and have barred those resisting vaccination to keep out of their premises and buses.

In all cases the message is simply that, the only way to return to business as usual is through vaccination.

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