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Gono recommends 100% wage reviews

Eric Chiriga

RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono has recommended wage and salary negotiation reviews of between 100% and 120% as inflationary pressures continue to mount.

FONT face=”Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>In his monetary review statement in January, Gono called for wage increases of between 85% and 95% anticipating lower inflation figures.

“Our call for restraint in wage negotiations of between 85% and 95% in January 2005 was premised on the low-side inflation targets, which at that time did not envisage drought during this year,” Gono said yesterday.

Inflation has actually increased from 123% to 129% and economic analysts say it is bound to increase further unless economic fundamentals like the exchange rate are addressed.

“Due to the higher than anticipated inflationary pressures, we once again call upon employer bodies and labour representatives to constructively engage in a manner that takes into account developments on the ground, such that wage increases of 100%-120% would balance the need to promote workers welfare at the same time retaining producers’ viability,” Gono said.

The governor has also been forced to revise the 2005 year-end inflation target from 20%-35% to between 50% and 80%.

“We wish to stress that the above are advisory benchmarks, which should not be taken as prescriptive,” Gono cautioned.

He said lower percentage wage and salary increases would help the anti-inflation drive and that there was need to align the increases to productivity.

“We once again call upon employer representative bodies and labour representative bodies to negotiate wages and salary reviews in a manner that balances continued sustainable productivity and the right of workers for humane standards of living.”

Gono also called for the formation of an independent National Incomes and Pricing Commission.

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