THE Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe (Emcoz) will tomorrow hold a dispute resolution workshop aimed at helping national employment councils to better resolve disputes.
The workshop is being held at a time when some national employment councils (Necs) are still to reach agreement with employers on the 2014 minimum wages within their various councils 10 months into the year.
It is also being held at a time the economy is showing signs of significant recession characterised by a debilitating liquidity crunch, declining capacity utilisation, job losses from retrenchments and company closures.
“The workshop is primarily aimed at Nec members responsible for dispute resolutions and take them through the dispute resolution process,” Emcoz executive director John Mufukare said.
Mufukare said he expected representatives from all 50 Necs to attend the two-day meeting to be held in Selous.
Some of the speakers at the workshop include Labour deputy minister Tongai Muzenda and labour practitioner and arbitrator Johnlife Mawire.
Mufukare said the recent Confederations of Zimbabwe Industries survey findings that capacity utilisation has reduced from 57,2% in 2011 to 36,3% this year demonstrates just how tough the environment is for employers and employees.
“This [declining capacity utilisation] is the evidence that we are operating in a very challenging economy,” Mufukare said.
“We had hoped that after the July 31 elections, with one government in power, the economy would improve. But the downward spiral unfortunately has continued.”
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions secretary-general Japhet Moyo has noted that there have been less wage disputes this year than previous years.
“This year, our sectors have accepted percentage increases in wages as low as 7%.”
He added that most sectors seemed to have taken a cue from the mining sector where employees ended up accepting a 5% increase from their original demand of 25%.
Moyo said the era of two or three digit percentage increases is fast disappearing with the highest percentage increase hovering at 10%.
He said most employees were battling to earn their current salary without asking for a wage increase.
“You cannot be asking for a 20% increment when you are not receiving your salary” Moyo said.