Banking sector salary talks’ end in deadlock, employers reject US$560 demand; union says mobilising protests

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By Alois Vinga

SALARY negotiations for the country’s banking sector ended in a deadlock Monday after the employers declined to honour a US$560 demand from workers.

The Banking Employers Association of Zimbabwe (BEAZ) has been engaged in crunch talks with the Zimbabwe Banks and Allied Workers Union (ZIBAWU) in recent weeks.

On their part, the workers are pressing for US$ salary increment arguing that 70% of the transactions are now being undertaken in US$.

They also contend that several banks have seen an increase in US$ revenue which they generate hence is capable of meeting the demands.

Sources from the employers’ side told that their view is that there have been efforts to stabilise the ZWL which in fact remains the official currency hence the need to avoid commitments in USD.

However, speaking to after a prolonged meeting which proceeded into Monday night, ZIBAWU secretary general, Peter Mutasa said the meeting ended without any agreement as he threatened to organise protests as soon as possible.

“There has not been any agreement reached .Employers want to pay ZWLS 611 000 which is only less than US$ 200. It is unacceptable at all costs.

“We are left with no choice and from tomorrow (Tuesday) we are beginning to activate our systems in preparation of nationwide protests against this cruel offer.

“Employers are hiding in the comfort that we will be arrested and be brutalised by the police. We don’t care about such risks. We are going to protest until we get decent wages,” added Mutasa.