By Robert Tapfumaneyi
THE month of November is traditionally the season when workers are paid their annual bonuses in appreciation of the hard work they performed over the year.
It is the time workers and their families make preparations for the festive season only a few weeks away.
However, as the Covid-19 affected 2020 comes to an end, this year the workers, both in the public and private sectors, have nothing to celebrate even if they were among the few ones that will receive the 13th cheque, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president Peter Mutasa.
Mutasa said the majority of workers in Zimbabwe are living in penury as they were being paid slave wages.
“Some workers may have bonuses but those bonuses are useless, the bonuses mean nothing,” Mutasa told NewZimbabwe.com this week.
“We are talking about a domestic worker, for example, who is earning $900 per month, which is only enough to buy them nine loaves of bread. We are looking at a teacher who is earning $12 500 and that is not sufficient for the teacher to pay rentals and that figure is far below the poverty datum line which is around $17 900.
“It is also far below the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) monthly food basket, that is around $21 000. We are talking here of an average worker in the industry who is earning $2 500, that $2 500 is only about 4% of the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe monthly food basket and is only is only about 14% of the poverty datum line,” the ZCTU boss said.
“So, even if they get twice of that bonus, it is worthless.”