Workers in the banking sector have issued a two-week ultimatum to their employers demanding a 60% salary increase or they will embark on a strike.
BY FIDELITY MHLANGA
The workers, represented by the Zimbabwe Banks and Allied Workers Union (Zibawu) have already rejected a 3,46% increase.
“Following the conclusion of the collective bargaining session in our sector, wherein parties declared a deadlock, we write to serve you notice of our intention to resort to collective job action,” Zibawu secretary general, Peter Mutasa wrote in a letter dated May 18.
The letter, which was addressed to the Bankers Employers Association of Zimbabwe (BEAZ) chairman, Victor Kwezera, said the workers will embark on sit ins or demonstrate if their call for a 60% upward salary review is not conceded to.
“The 14 days’ notice is issued in terms of section 104 of the Labour Act (Chapter 28:01) as amended.
“Upon expiry of the 14 days’ notice and subject to other mandatory provisions of the law, our members will embark on sit ins, sit outs, demonstrations, call for boycotts and any other concerted actions.
“This action can be averted if you accede to our 60% salary increase demand or opening of negotiations for a respectable salary increase well above your 3,46% offer,” Mutasa said.
At least 3 700 non-managerial workers such as messengers, tellers, customer service officers, loan officers and exchange control clerks among others are set to embark on industrial action.
The Zimbabwe banking sector has a staff complement of about 4 000 workers.
Kwezera acknowledged receiving the letter, saying he was working flat out to deal with the issue.
“They actually wrote the letter to me as the BEAZ chairman,” he said.
“I am currently working on the response with my colleagues.”
Kwezera was not at liberty to comment on the issues raised by the employees, saying he was still consulting the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe.
“Remember, we are a committee that reports directly to the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe,” he said.
Zibawu said the least paid bank worker gets $636 per month.