Construction workers fight discriminatory Ipec law

Construction workers

THE Zimbabwe Construction and Allied Trade Workers’ Union (ZCATWU) has challenged the Insurance and Pensions Commission (Ipec)’s bid to eliminate trade union officials from the trusteeship of pension funds.

Ipec has, through the proposed section 4.2c of the Fitness and Probity Standard for Trustees, classified trade union representatives as conflicted parties.

“It a trade union representative. This is due to the fact that the trade union representative’s role is focused on active members of the pension scheme, who are only one class of beneficiary. This bias may result in conflicted decisions,” the section reads.

In a statement, ZCATWU secretary-general Muchapiwa Nicholas Mazarura said the section was discriminatory, and lacked depth.

“ZCATWU notes that the section is discriminatory and was ill-thought as it seeks to elbow out workers’ representatives for selfish reasons. It must be noted that trade unions played a pivotal role in the formation of sectoral pensions funds and it is overzealous for Ipec to classify unionists as ‘conflicted’ in running their own creations,” Mazarura said.

“It believes that the proposed new measures lack depth on the structural functions and role of pension funds. Ipec has not consulted widely, its proposals are narrow and don’t have direct benefits for beneficiaries,”

“It, therefore, implores on Ipec to scrap section 4.2c of the Fitness and Probity Standard for Trustees if pension funds are to serve their founding purposes and sustainably benefit beneficiaries.”

Mazarura said ZCATWU was not opposed to regulation but expressed fear that the absence of trade union representatives on pension funds boards would lead to abuse.

“ZCATWU is not opposed to the regulation of pension funds, we are against disruptive interference in the form of Ipec’s discriminatory prescriptions,” he said.

“It’s our view that in the absence of trade union representatives pension funds would be abused to the detriment of beneficiaries. Pension funds would be forced to invest in non-performing prescribed assets which do not directly benefit beneficiaries.”

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