In Zimbabwe: Think-tank suggests new guidelines for big business

It is not just UK pressure groups trying to stop big businesses profiting from the misery of Zimbabw­ean workers.

Harare: Zimbabwean capital
Harare: Zimbabwean capital

Godfrey Kanyenze, director at think-tank the Labour and Economic Development Res­earch Institute of Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ), spoke to PRWeek from Harare, suggesting global plans to target UK and Western companies.

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‘The idea is to persuade companies not to undermine labour standards,' he said. ‘We are doing work with the UN's International Labour Org­anisation on CSR, and looking at guidelines for inv­estors to avoid negative incentives.

We are engaging global uni­ons, and sharing inf­ormation in terms of differences in working conditions, for ins­tance in Zimbabwe and South Africa, which are easily comp­ared. We are exerting pressure for the introduction of similar standards in Zimbabwe.'

Kanyenze said that LEDRIZ was currently researching CSR strategies by looking at trade unions, employers and the government specifically. ‘We are working on principles and values - what we expect companies to do when they come to our country,' he said. ‘We are empowering lab­our to
neg­otiate.'

He added that the problem of foreign investment was not limited to Zimbabwe.

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