Tourism players meet over salary reviews

TOURISM workers and employers representatives are next week expected to meet in the capital to deliberate on salary review, with workers expecting a better deal compared to last year’s minor adjustments, an official has said.

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

Employers’ Association for Tourism and Safari Operators president, Clement Mukwasi, who will represent the National Employment Council for the tourism industry, told NewsDay that he was expecting a fruitful meeting which would strike a balance between the industry and workers.

“We are expecting to have salary negotiations on March 22 and we are expecting that the meeting will yield positive results. Currently, we are in the process of consultations,” Mukwasi said.

“In our salary negotiations, we are going to use industry performance, inflation rate and current basic salaries.”

Mukwasi, however, lamented that the negotiations were coming at a time when helicopter industry had lost over $500 000 in February due to heavy rains, leading to cancellation of flights.

Last year, workers in the tourism sector were awarded a minimum of $6 or a 1,5% salary increase, with industry players saying the increases were informed by three factors, the stability of the industry, inflation rate and current basic salaries.

The tourism sector is divided into two sections — sector one for mainly hotel and lodge employees and sector two for those in conservation, safari and wildlife operations.

The tourism sector, currently on the recovery path, has been subdued over the years due to a decrease in tourist arrivals compounded by a 15% value-added tax on accommodation, making the country an expensive destination.

About 90% of workers in the sector are on contract and the lowest salary is pegged at around $200 per month without benefits.

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