ZCTU Threatens To Resort To "Other Means" Over Minimum Wage
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) this week threatened to resort to “other means” if the government fails to meet its demand for a minimum wage of US$150.
The minimum wage was agreed upon in September last year through the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF), a social dialogue platform that brings together government, business and labour to negotiate critical socioeconomic matters.
The ZCTU ultimatum over the minimum wage comes as teachers have once again threatened to go on strike demanding that the salary be paid 100% in United States dollars.
After the three social partners last year agreed on a minimum wage across all sectors, there was optimism that the nation was finally about to reach a social contract. Nevertheless, the momentum gained has been lost as a result of the government’s breach of the agreement.
ZCTU also believes that the government lacks respect for the tripartite body considering that both business and labour had to appeal to President Emmerson Mnangagwa to get his ministers to come to TNF meetings.
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This is further evidenced by the failure of the government to consult its partners in the TNF when it puts in place policies that have a major bearing on the two.
Speaking at the Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe annual general meeting in Victoria Falls last year, ZCTU president Florence Taruvinga said the government was undermining its partners in the TNF. NewsDay cites her as saying:
It is hypocritical for the government to unilaterally force down the policies on people without TNF engagement. We are being undermined. It is on record that we pointed out that the government has been trivialising the TNF and taking people for granted for some time by undermining social dialogue.
ZCTU’s threats to resort to other means also come as civil servants rejected a salary offer tabled by the government during a National Joint Negotiation Council (NJNC) meeting held in Harare on Thursday.
Zimbabwe Congress of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU) chairperson Cecilia Alexander said what the government had offered was too little and embarrassing.
She said the parties agreed not to publicise the offer until an agreement has been reached.