Waverley Blankets Workers Down Tools Over Low Salaries3 months ago
Workers at Waverley Blankets, in Graniteside industrial area, Harare, have gone on strike.
The strike action comes after the company refused to comply with an arbitration outcome that ordered all textile employers to increase their workers’ salaries to a minimum of US$184 per month.
NewsDay reported that the National Employment Council (NEC) of the Textile Manufacturing Industry recently said any deadlock on wage negotiations in the sector would now be resolved through voluntary arbitration as agreed by the parties. It said:
Accordingly, the arbitral tribunal awarded that the minimum wage be US$184 with the same percentage differential applying across all grades/levels.
That all companies in the textile manufacturing industry shall pay 45% of minimum wages in United States dollars and the remaining balance of 55% shall be paid in local currency, i.e. Zimbabwe dollar, at the prevailing official exchange rate, at the date of processing.
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For the avoidance of doubt, the official exchange rate refers to the RBZ [Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe] auction rate.
Waverley Blankets’ Managing Director reportedly applied to NEC seeking exemption from paying the wages agreed during arbitration which the Council declined. NEC wrote back:
It should be noted that your application for exemption was considered and declined.
In other words, it was turned down or rejected and, therefore, there is no pending application for exemption before the NEC.
In the circumstance, the status quo of the arbitral award is still in force until it is set aside by a competent court.
Waverley Blankets employees have vowed to continue striking until the company complies with the arbitration outcome.
Workers in both the private and public sectors are clamouring for United States dollar salaries as most goods and services including fuel are being sold exclusively in foreign currency.
More: Pindula News