In Zimbabwe, the agricultural sector is experiencing a prolonged economic crisis. This has led to an increase in short term contracts which offer no job security or access to social services.
Agricultural and plantation workers without a stable job are generally hard to organise.
Outreach in response to crisis
3F's Zimbabwean partner, the agriculture and plantation workers’ union, GAPWUZ, has set up a special organizing team that visits the fields during high season when the use of day laborers is peaking.
The team is made up of local shop stewards and trade unionist activists and trainers, with expertise in labor law and gender equality. GAPWUZ has made sure that there are always both men and women on the team.
This method has enabled the union to register and resolve cases on the spot and use real cases as a starting point for training of local workers' representatives abour their rights and conflict resolution.
In 2018, for example, the team managed to secure 296 workers legal employment contracts.
75 percent more female members
This down-to-earth effort has convinced many farm workers of the practical benefits of being organised in a trade union.
The message has made a special impression on the female workers, who are typically toiling under the most precarious conditions. As a result, women are increasingly joining the trade union.