By Robert Tapfumaneyi
THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has threatened to embark on an industrial action if the government fails to gazette the minimum salaries for general workers to $3.800 per month.
This translates to around US$146 a month using the current parallel market rates.
The call comes amid the worsening economic situation in the country, which has seen prices of basic commodities rise rapidly.
ZCTU Secretary General Japhet Moyo said if the government failed to gazette the new prices, workers would go on a crippling industrial action.
“Failure of which workers of Zimbabwe would embark on an indefinite industrial action,” he said.
He issued a statement soon after the ZCTU’s General Council – the highest decision-making body in-between congresses – met in Harare Thursday to receive a report-back on the recent Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) outcome.
“The General Council noted that working people of Zimbabwe have suffered immensely as wages have failed to keep pace with the inflationary trends,” Moyo said in a statement.
“The situation has worsened, rendering it practically impossible for workers across all sectors to earn the current salaries and sustain their families or be able to go to work.
“Although the General Council reaffirmed its position for Zimbabwe to use the South African Rand as an alternative, it however ratified labour’s negotiating team’s position of a minimum wage of $3 800 as proposed by the government as relief measure while the government stabilises the currency within six months.
“The minimum wage has to be implemented through the promulgation of a Statutory Instrument under the country’s labour laws. Failure of which workers of Zimbabwe would embark on an indefinite industrial action.”
Moyo added: “The ZCTU noted with disappointment that although business is against indexing salaries and wages to the US dollar and exchange rate, business itself is profiteering by indexing goods and services to this exchange rate.”
The ZCTU secretary general blamed corruption for bleeding the country’s economy and said more needs to be done in fighting the scourge.
“The General Council noted with concern the high levels of corruption in the country, the illicit financial outflows, and State capture by cartels and resolved to join other progressive organisations in fighting these scourges bleeding the country,” he said.
“In the meantime, the ZCTU will embark on nationwide consultations in the form of labour forums and workers are encouraged to come in their numbers to air their views on the form of action to be taken if the demand is not met.”