TNF meets to resolve differences

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Harare(New Ziana) – PRINCIPALS to the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) were expected to meet Friday, to iron out differences and agree on a date for the next meeting, a Cabinet Minister has said.

The TNF is a platform for social dialogue that brings together the Government, business and labour to discuss key socio-economic issues and make recommendations.

TNF founding principles and values are contained in the “Declaration of Intent Towards a Social Contract,” which the parties signed in 2001.

In an interview with New Ziana, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister, Professor Paul Mavima, said the TNF was still very functional and making tremendous progress in executing its mandate.

“In fact, we will be meeting the principals today at 2 o’clock,” he said.

“The meeting will consider reports of different committees, prepare for the main TNF meeting which should be very soon, as well as agree on a date.”

Professor Mavima said the meeting would also iron out the differences between the various stakeholders in order to have a shared vision, going forward.

“We are making a lot of progress, including the hiring of the executive director,” he explained.

President Emmerson Mnagagwa in June 2019 launched the TNF Act, which provides a legal framework for reigniting and fostering social dialogue, which collapsed 10 years ago due to mistrust and finger-pointing among the parties.

Before the enactment of the enabling Act, the TNF had been a voluntary platform since 1998 with parties not bound by its resolutions.

According to the Act, the TNF will have a full-time secretariat headed by an executive director and funded by the Government.

Currently, the work of the secretariat is undertaken by Ministry of Labour staff, on an ad hoc basis.

Since its revival in 2019, the TNF has hit turbulence with the issue of salaries being the main sticking point as workers demanded payment of salaries in United States dollars, citing escalating prices of basic commodities.

The Government and labour fought in the same corner in rejecting the proposal, citing the harm wrought on the economy by Covid-19, which has seen many companies scaling down operations, while others closed shop.

New Ziana

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