A Zimbabwean trade union takes a first step towards establishing a worker cooperative for its unemployed members

Zimbabwe Banks and Allied Workers Union (ZIBAWU) has taken the first steps towards the establishment of a worker cooperative which will provide employment opportunities for its members who lost their jobs in 2015.

News | 26 February 2018
Members of ZIBAWU at the workshop
Following the Zuva Judgement on job termination by the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe in July 2015, more than 6,000 workers lost their jobs. As a response to this, the Zimbabwe Banks and Allied Workers Union (ZIBAWU), a trade union representing workers in banking and financial sector in Zimbabwe, decided to set up a micro-finance cooperative to create employment for those members who had lost their jobs because of the judgement.

ZIBAWU has opted for the worker cooperative model for its effectiveness in contributing towards a fairer society and more democratic workplaces where workers have a say in decision-making and benefit economically through having an equitable share of the surplus. “…we want to bring a new model in a fairer society and work place which is more democratic where workers work for themselves, share profit equitably with decent employment and decent salaries,” Mr Mutasa, the General Secretary of ZIBAWU said.

As a first step towards the establishment of the cooperative, ZIBAWU organized a workshop on 29-30 January 2018, where representatives from ZIBAWU, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) discussed the worker cooperative option. The ILO was at hand to share the provisions of Recommendation 193 on promotion of cooperatives and to provide examples of job preservation through workers’ cooperatives in other parts of the world.