Farm workers’ union still in talks over pay

Grace Kombora

THE General Agricultural Plantation Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (Union) is still negotiating with the National Employment Council for a review of its members’ monthly salary of $676

000.


The union’s general secretary Gertrude Hambira said they needed a review since agricultural workers had historically received the lowest wages. “It is pathetic to note that agriculture is the backbone of the country, yet in this sector are the most neglected lot who are compelled to languish in poverty,” she said.


“We are now asking for more than the current $676 000 they are offering our members.”


She could however not be drawn to reveal how much they were asking for, saying this was a private matter and they were still negotiating.


Hambira however said the proposed increment was way below expectations.


“The $169 000 weekly wage that the employees are now getting does not even cover the basics,” she said.


The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions is lobbying that the minimum wage be set at around $2 million.


The labour union has threatened industrial action if its demands are not met.

Newly-resettled farmers say they cannot afford major salary demands.


The farm workers’ union said negotiations were under way with farm owners to split the agricultural industry into three sectors and categorise wage bargains on the basis of sectoral returns.


The industry will now be split into general agriculture, agro-processing and timber sectors. Agro-processing emerged the most profitable sector since it is involved in the processing and exports, the union said.

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