Union Petitions Stanchart Over Poor Wages

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By Alois Vinga

ZIMBABWE Banks and Allied Workers Union (Zibawu) has petitioned Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) over the continued payment of worthless salaries amid calls for urgent negotiations to resolve the matter.

Speaking to Business, Zibawu secretary general, Peter Mutasa bemoaned the fact that the top bank which used to be widely respected in the past years is now among the least paying employees in the sector netting just ZW$22 000.

“SCB must urgently Review the salaries of the Zimbabwean employees to a minimum living wage that caters for the employees’ basic needs and introduce benefits that actively and substantially cater for accommodation, food, transport, health, communication, clothing & footwear and education,” he said.

Mutasa also prayed for the payment of full or partial portion of the employees’ salaries in US dollars and argued that the published Consumer Council of Zimbabwe Family Basket for the period ending January 2022 stood at ZW$75 000 which is way far above the current thresholds.

“Coupled with the non-payment of a living wage, SCB employees in Zimbabwe are not afforded benefits such as school fees allowance or full medical aid cover. In fact, a glance at the pay-slip of an SCB Zimbabwe employee will reveal that three quarters of an employee’s salary is automatically deducted to cater for the repayment of loans, statutory deductions, and medical aid contributions,” he said.

He underscored that there is need for the employer to urgently realise that Zimbabwe is a multi-currency economy that is predominantly reliant on the United States dollar.

Mutasa also urged the bank to emulate other international banks with branches in Zimbabwe such as Nedbank, Ecobank and Stanbic which have also adapted to the indelible presence of the United States dollar as a currency of use and have consequently started paying a portion of their employees’ salaries in United States dollars.

“What boggles that mind is that the group’s local management has refused to review these salaries on the premise that it awaits the currently non-progressive industry negotiations- leaving employees destitute and unable to cater for themselves. It is therefore imperative that the group revises employees’ total fixed and variable salaries to suit the stated principle,” he said.