Thursday, April 19, 2018

Zimbabwe: Revolutionary Workers Group statement on Dismissal of Nurses

Why Zimbabwe needs its nurses despite high rates of unemployment


Yesterday, the eve of the independence celebrations, the government through the Vice President and former army general announced the dismissal of all striking nurses. In an opaque statement the government tried to shift the blame to the workers who are justly and legally fighting for their rights. The main reason for the dismissal was that the government view the action as political hence the measures.

The nurses have been on strike for about a week now demanding better working conditions, payment of overdue allowances and a review of their salaries and all legal procedures relating to the strike were followed. The real reason for the dismissal is to instill fear in other civil servants especially teachers who are set to strike when schools open on May. In essence this is the logic of class warfare which must be met with equal force.

The post Mugabe military based coup government is intent on attacking workers to lay the basis for renewed investor confidence and protection of the interests of capitalists. They want to send a clear message that indeed Zimbabwe is open for business and they can guarantee massive profits for their masters. In contrast to the workers and poor masses living from hand to mouth, the bosses and their surrogates are living large and can afford to charter planes for routine medical checkups whilst the masses die due to lack of medicine, proper facilities and money.

The Revolutionary Workers Group of Zimbabwe (RWG-Z) salutes the gallant nurses who are fighting a class war on behalf of other workers in government and generally against austerity and slave conditions. We salute the nurses union for remaining resolute in the face of such attacks and also support the call by the main trade union federation for a general strike. The nurses must be defended. We call on all nurses not to bow down to this intimidation and instead intensify the strike. Workers should support the picket lines to stop scab labour. All government workers must down tools in support of the nurses and send a clear message to the government. A general strike is now a must if the working class is to survive.

We further call for:
  • The immediate and unconditional reinstatement of all dismissed nurses!
  • An all-out strike and solidarity action to defeat the government!
  • Payment of all outstanding allowances and timely payment of allowances!
  • The opening of all books of the medical services for public view!
  • A living Wage! Workers fight for a living wage and better working conditions through mass action controlled by ordinary workers!
  • Against the ever rising prices and inflation we demand a sliding scale of wages!
  • Against unemployment and destitution we demand a sliding scale of working hours to provide decent jobs for all through massive public works programs to provide housing, education and medical care for all!
  • Organise the unorganised! Form unions of the unemployed as fully affiliated unions!
  • Workers take back your unions!
  • Militant workers to form class struggle caucuses in the unions to fight for this program!
  • The government must stop the attack on the vendors!
  • Workers to form strike committees to lead the resistance to the growing attacks on the wages and working conditions of the poor and the livelihood of the majority poor!
  • Workers to form workers defence guards for defence against state violence!
  • A national strike committee to organise and plan for a general strike!
  • For a workers government on the basis of the armed people to implement decisions that benefit the workers and the poor!
  • Nationalisation of all companies without indemnification to the big shareholders under workers control!
  • Land to be distributed to all poor peasants together with a state bank to provide inputs to all small farmers!
  • A workers state that defends workers, peasants and the poor masses against the local and foreign capitalists!
  • An African socialist revolution as part of the international revolution that alone can guarantee a better life for all!
  • A new WORLD PARTY of socialist revolution based on the TRANSITIONAL PROGRAM of 1938 to lead the revolution to end capitalism and open the road to socialism!
Revolutionary Workers Group of Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe section of the Liaison Committee of Communists)
18 April 2018