Salary talks may not yield much in 2014 — unions

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EMPLOYEES salary negotiations for 2014 look gloomy as economic activity remains low and the manufacturing sector continues to have low output, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has said.

Victoria Mtomba

In an interview, the country’s largest labour union president, George Nkiwane said in the past two years salary negotiations were unfruitful and at the same time the awards were insignificant.

“Sometimes the companies will not be producing, and the performance of industry especially the manufacturing sector is bad at the moment. I don’t think this year the negotiation will yield anything above 10%,” he said.

“In some instances when you reach some companies, the workers would just tell you not to do the negotiations as they feel it’s better to maintain the current salaries as they will also maintain their jobs.”

Nkiwane said many companies have not yet started salary negotiations as is the trend, he said the negotiations begin in December and are concluded in January.

“We will get a clear picture by end of January and only five sectors have started negotiating out of the 30. The sectors are food, clothing, furniture, tobacco and Public Service Commission the other 25 have not started,” Nkiwane said.

He said an adjustment in the civil service wage bill though widely seen as meagre would result in some wage hikes.

Workers in the country are struggling due to economic challenges and the majority earn less than $500 and survive on less than a dollar a day.

The consumer basket for a family of six is over $500 meaning most of the workers sacrifice on some of their requirements to get through each day.

Most of the workers rely on credit schemes to get through the month.
The manufacturing sector is currently operating at levels below 40% due to liquidity challenges, obsolete equipment, shortages of working capital and high production costs.

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries have been in doldrums as companies struggled to operate effectively due to various challenges.

According to a July 2013 National Social Security Authority Harare Regional Employer Closures and Registrations Report for the period July 2011 to July 2013, 711 companies closed shop in Harare leaving over 8 000 people jobless.

Some companies that have retrenched include Zimplats and Unki, SPAR Supermarkets, Dairibord, Cairns, Olivine Industries and PG Industries.

15 COMMENTS

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  3. A balance should always be struck, economic issue should always be looked at economically, if there is no marginal growth in productivity then there shuold be much increases in the returns allocated to labour cost(which is definitely one of the COST CENTRES as far as production is concerned…..no need to be immotional here, facts and figures alone….

  4. A balance should always be struck, economic issue should always be looked at economically, if there is no marginal growth in productivity then there shuoldnt be much increases in the returns allocated to labour cost(which is definitely one of the COST CENTRES as far as production is concerned…..no need to be immotional here, facts and figures alone….

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