New Zimbabwe.com

Tourism workers get 5 percent salary hike, demand more

THE tourism industry has increased wages for its workers by five percent across the board a development that will see the lowest paid grades earn a $128 basic salary per month.

Housing and transport allowances were also increased by $3 each from $47 to $50 and $37 to $40 respectively.

The new perks are for the period March 2018 to February 2019 when the next round of negotiations will resume.

A schedule from the National Employment for the Tourism Industry showed that the increment was agreed last Wednesday.

However, workers have said they only agreed to the compromise to avoid prolonging the negotiations which may have resulted in endless compulsory arbitration.

The tourism industry is categorised into three sectors namely sector 1, being the core tourism activities such as those who offer bungee jumping, cruise, animal rides, rafting and others while sector 1B is hunting and sector 2 conservation.

Sector 2 is the lowest paid with the lower grade 1 set to earn $128 per while the highest will get $293.

The lowest paid in Sector 1 will now earn $273 up from $259 with the highest grade getting $438 up from $417.

The highest grade in sector 1B will now get $286 up from $272 while the lowest paid were moved from $211 to $222 per month.

Workers are, however, not happy with the five percent as they had initially demanded a 20 percent increase across the board.

“We had wanted a 20 percent increment considering that the wages are already low. The industry is doing well and the employer has no excuse not to pay,” said an employee.

However, Kirion Mhazo, who negotiated on behalf of the five unions that make up the Zimbabwe Tourism and Allied Workers Union, said five percent was a compromise position.

“The salary negotiations have been completed and we agreed with the employer on a five percent increase with housing and transport allowances also being increased uniformly across board. The employer argued that the sector is not performing well as there are other players who may fail to pay a rise hence we agreed so as to move
forward,” he said.

The tourism sector has been criticised for exploiting workers most of whom who are not on medical and pension because they are put on short contracts.

Workers believe the tourism industry is making a lot of money judging by tourists who pay for different activities and services while the employer has maintained that the returns are shadowed by poor performance by operators in other destinations where tourism is low.