ZCTU mulls strike over pay

Shakeman Mugari

THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has threatened nationwide industrial action if their salary demands are not met.



ans-serif”>The labour union also said it would not heed RBZ governor Gideon Gono’s call to exercise restraint in their wage negotiations, saying the central bank was not leading by example.


Gono last year appealed to employees and labour unions to exercise restraint in their salary demands to avoid stoking up inflation. RBZ employees were later awarded salary increments of up to 95%.


The ZCTU this week said it was going to demand a minimum wage of $2 million because the food basket of basic commodities for a family of six now costs around $1,8 million.


ZCTU president Lovemore Matombo told businessdigest this week that the labour union had instructed its affiliates not to accept anything below $2 million in the upcoming salary negotiations.


“We want $2 million as minimum and if that is not done there will be strikes, that’s the position now,” Matombo said.


He said they would not be guided by Gono’s appeal during the negotiations. He dismissed Gono’s statements as highly uninformed “coming from someone who knows nothing about labour issues”.


“Gono says workers must not demand increases of more than inflation rates

but we know he is waffling,” Matombo said. “If he says workers should be given say 100% he must ask himself 100% of what? In labour you don’t just say 100%, that’s madness,” he said.


He said workers in the private sector would demand almost the same increases given to civil servants. Government awarded salary increases of between 200% and 600% last month. “We are eating the same food basket with civil servants so we need the same increase.”


Matombo said the RBZ governor should have “asked the government to exercise restraint first before coming to the private sector”.


“If he tries to interfere, as he is now used to, there will be serious problems,” said Matombo. “We will strike because we can’t just watch him condemning workers to death,” he said.

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