Agric Nec launches translated collective bargaining agreement

The agreement is now available in vernacular languages like Ndebele, Shona and Tonga, among others.

THE National Employment Council for the Agricultural Industry in Zimbabwe on Friday launched a collective bargaining agreement translated to local languages, a development that is set foster harmony in the sector.

The agreement is now available in vernacular languages like Ndebele, Shona and Tonga, among others.

The agreement outlines the basic conditions of service and the code of conduct for the sector.

Speaking during the launch of the SI 41 of 2022 translation, Agriculture Nec chief executive officer David Madyausiku said the collective bargaining agreement was crucial in protecting employers and workers in the industry.

“In our agricultural industry, these agreements often cover a wide range of issues, including wages, working hours, paid time off, training and education schemes, industrial safety, health and environment regulations, and grievance handling procedures,” Madyausiku said.

“They provide the necessary framework for fair and equitable treatment of employees, ensuring that their voices are heard, and their labour is valued. Likewise, they reinforce expected behaviours in the workplace that foster productivity, which allows enterprises to continue as going concerns.”

He added that the translation of collective bargaining agreements to vernacular languages acknowledged and promoted inclusivity and diversity within the agricultural industry.

 “It came about as a response to the need to increase access to collective bargaining agreements generally. This is an issue that has far-reaching implications for the livelihoods of a great number of individuals: the men and women who perform and co-ordinate labour effectively to feed our nation and provide the raw materials that are central to industry in Zimbabwe.

“If the proverbial wheels come off in this industry, then, certainly, the knock-on effects for the country could be of catastrophic proportions.

 “It sends a clear message that all employees and employers are valued and respected regardless of the language that they speak. This in turn fosters a more harmonious and co-operative work environment, which ultimately benefits both employees and employers alike,” he said.

 Meanwhile, Labour minister July Moyo said it was unfortunate that the labour perspective was often overlooked in many discussions concerning the wellbeing of the agricultural industry.

“It is, therefore, heartening to note that here we have an employment council that is giving value to the employers and employees in its industry of jurisdiction by ensuring that peace and harmony prevail in agricultural industrial relations. Peace and harmony provide a solid foundation on which the productivity and prosperity of the industry is founded,” said Moyo.

He said collective bargaining required overcoming information asymmetry to arrive at fair outcomes.

“One of the less acknowledged causes of information asymmetry is exclusion through language barriers, which I am delighted the Agriculture Nec is responding to through the translation of its principal collective bargaining agreement for the industry,” Moyo said.

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