The following is a letter to Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of Zimbabwe, sent on July 13, 2020, in support of Zimbabwe nurses striking over poverty wages and the lack of PPE.
Dear President Mnangagwa:
On behalf of the CFNU and its 200,000 members across Canada, we join the International Council of Nurses (ICN) in calling on you as President of Zimbabwe to address the urgent concerns of frontline nurses facing the intense pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic in your country.
As you are aware, Zimbabwe nurses, including the Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA), have felt forced to withdraw their labour as a result of potentially dangerous working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic, and concerns about their salaries and terms and conditions of service. This, Mr. President, has become an international shame for your country. We are in the midst of a global pandemic, and every nurse, every health care worker needs to be protected and respected so they can be at work to care for the sick.
The CFNU joins the ICN in calling for you to urgently resume negotiations with the nurses so that a fair solution can be found both with respect to remuneration and workplace safety. This will permit nurses to go back to work safely and provide essential and safe care for their patients at this time of great need. This needs to be done under the highest levels of Occupational Health and Safety standards not only for their safety but that of their families and communities.
Linda Silas, CFNU President
Howard Catton, CEO, International Council of Nurses
Enock Dongo, President, Zimbabwe Nurses Association