GMB Workers Earn Less Than Farm Labourers, Housemaids: Union

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By James Muonwa

THE least paid employees at the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) and its subsidiary Silo Foods Industries (SFI) earn less than farm labourers and housemaids, a workers’ union official has said.

GMB and SFI Workers’ Union president, D. Chigogo says managers at the two quasi-governmental entities displayed insincerity by nicodemusly awarding themselves hefty salary increases, while neglecting workers’ cries for better pay and improved working conditions.

In a letter dated March 18, 2022, addressed to GMB and SFI bosses, Chigogo threatened to picket the parastatal’s head offices in Harare on Wednesday.

Chigogo wrote: “Please note that employees have resorted to come to head office to explain their plight to the Chief Executive GMB and Managing Director SFI as a matter of urgency. Employees are coming to head office on Wednesday 23 March 2022.”

“We have approached you in regard to our meagre salaries which have been eroded by inflation. To date, nothing has come out of our previous meetings where you keep procrastinating the issues at the expense of the employees,” he wrote

The workers’ union president lambasted the Rocky Chitenha-led GMB top management for pampering itself, while neglecting lower-tier staff.

“We are aware that you have awarded yourselves hefty increments whilst we are in dire poverty, which you are not considering. Currently, the least paid employee is getting 16 700 RTGS (approximately US$72 on parallel market), which is less than that of a farm worker or housemaid,” Chigogo said.