Gweru City Council workers have approached their employer demanding a minimum wage of $20 000.
BY Stephen Chadenga
In an interview yesterday, Zimbabwe Urban Council Workers Union Gweru branch secretary, Thembinkosi Mula said the employees had reached a deadlock with their employer over the issue with the latter citing incapacitation to meet the salary demands.
“We are expecting a poverty datum line (PDL)-indexed salary which is around $20 115 according to the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe and ZimStat statistics,”Mula said.
“As workers, we feel such a figure will meet our basic needs. Unfortunately, we could not agree on that issue with the employer. We had a deadlock with the employer citing incapacitation to pay due to low revenue collections.”
Mula added: “We are, however, yet to finalise the matter as officials are still to meet at a full council indaba to map the way forward.”
Contacted for comment mayor Josiah Makombe said the local authority was facing financial constraints to meet the workers’ demands.
He, however, said his office would continue engaging employees to “reach common ground” over their working conditions.
“The workers are right in referring to the PDL as a benchmark for the minimum wage, but it all comes back to the issue of capacity on the part of council,” he said.
“We will always negotiate with our employees. There is need for stakeholders and ratepayers to honour their obligations so that in turn we can also be able to pay.”
He, however, said any salary adjustment should strike a balance between service delivery and workers’ conditions of service.