By Alois Vinga
LABOUR, Public Service and Social Welfare minister Paul Mavima says he is committed to pushing for the payments of fair salaries across the productive sectors by harnessing the economic gains through strong collaborative ties with other social partners.
The remarks come at a time when Zimbabwean workers are ranked among the world’s working poor with latest records stating that average salaries for local workers range between ZW$18 000 per month, which is equivalent to US$100.
In South Africa, according to the Quarterly Employment Survey for the second quarter of 2021, the average salary paid to employees in the formal sector was up marginally by 1,7% quarter on quarter from R23 127 in February 2021 to R23 526 equivalent to US$1 568 in May 2021.
In Zambia, the national average salary is K4 393, equivalent to US$258 with Mozambique at 40 200 meticais per month is equivalent to US$629, 86 and in Eswatini the average income is US$3 580.
But speaking to NewZimbabwe.com on the new year’s prospects, Mavima expressed optimism that the sustained economic stability policies coupled with groundwork to bring together social partners, will be a springboard to objectively transform the working class plight.
“Government anticipates fair remuneration for workers in both the public and private sectors on the strength of the 7% economic growth projection. Unlike in the past where only a few individuals were unfairly milking the country’s benefits, this trajectory has to change going forward,” he said.
He pinned his hopes of achieving the targets through renewed spirit of the Tripartite Negotiation Forum following a successful team building retreat held last year with social partners, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and the Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ).
“During the retreat we all agreed the past trivial fights and differences will sink us as a nation and we will thrive and succeed if we bring our differences to the negotiating table. This is a new beginning which has helped to establish a very firm foundation,” he said.
ZCTU secretary general Japhet Moyo expressed optimism that workers’ plight will be transformed for the better in the year ahead.
“We are very optimistic that 2022 would be a good year and would make our contributions through social dialogue platforms both at enterprise, sectoral and national levels. All collective bargaining platforms and processes including social dialogue at national level would be fruitful in dealing with the plight of workers,” he said