ZCTU Seeks Urgent Meeting With Government, Business
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) was this week making efforts to convene an urgent Tripartite Negotiation Forum (TNF) meeting amid rising inflation which has wiped wages.
The TNF is a platform that brings together the government, business sector, and labor unions to engage in dialogue and negotiation on socio-economic issues affecting the country.
The Zimbabwe dollar has depreciated by 647% on the parallel market since January this year and has seen its value tumble to a peak of US$1:ZW$10 000 on the parallel market last week.
Despite authorities’ decision to contain the inflation rate through a blended system, the rate jumped to 175.8% in June, up from 86.5% in May.
ZCTU secretary general, Japhet Moyo, told the Zimbabwe Independent that over-taxation has pushed workers deeper into poverty. He said:
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We are being ripped off. Government is taking more than a third, and we are only left with little, yet prices are rising daily. Something must be done urgently.
Moyo said after the deduction of medical insurance and funeral assurance, many workers were taking home nothing and in some cases, the net can be in the negative. He said:
Looking at what has happened over the past three weeks where the currency has literally crashed, wages are being wiped out by taxes.
All collective bargaining platforms have agreed to increase salaries. It means everyone, poorly paid as they are, are now in that bracket where they pay taxes.
It is unfortunate that these (income tax) reviews have to be done when government announces their fiscal policies, and workers have to wait.
It is an unfortunate situation where the poor have to pay taxes at the highest rates. We wrote to the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare this week requesting that we convene the TNF to look into the collapse of the currency.
We want to raise as many questions as possible. The currency has collapsed. We want to find out the measures which authorities are putting in place to protect wages. Life is now difficult for everyone at the moment.
Some economists have said the solution lies in Zimbabwe returning to full dollarisation but the Government has ruled that out, and instead, blames saboteurs for the country’s unending economic challenges.
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