Food Industry Workers Get Pay Hike

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By Alois Vinga

THE food industry employers and employers have concluded wage negotiations for the first quarter of 2020, which will see the least paid employee earning an average of $3 000 including allowances.

Information gathered by from key stakeholders in the sector, show that sectors in the industry which include, abattoir and meat processing, brewing and allied industries, sweets and confectionery; and sugar processing, had since agreed to reduce the salary negotiations from four months to three months due to the impact of the hyper inflationary environment.

The first agreement will run from 1 January 2020 to 31 March 2020.

The increments agreed range from 80% to 135% of basic wages and allowances.

The minimum basic wage for the brewing and sugar processing sectors is now $2 400 per month, sugar processing, $2 200 while the lowest paid in meat and fish sector will get $2 000 for January and $2 100 for February and March 2020.

Further to the agreed basic wages, the National Employment Council (NEC) agreed on transport and housing allowances ranging from $400 to $660.

Overall, this will translate to a basic wage of $3 038 for the lowest paying sector and $3 380 for the highest paying sector.

Commenting on the increments, Food Federation and Allied Workers Union of Zimbabwe general secretary, Runesu Dzimiri, said they were optimistic of attaining the national minimum wage in the food industry.

“Our biggest challenge was on our baseline that was far much low hence we have to employ a strategy of gradual increases until we reach the ZCTU (Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions) benchmarks, we have not abandoned neither nor ignore the call by our national centre,” he said.

However, the food processing, milling and the baking sectors are still outstanding in concluding the wage negotiations.