THE Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe (Emcoz) will hold a wage bargaining summit next week bringing together representatives of government, business and labour to look for ways to stop the haemorrhaging of jobs which has reached crisis levels.
A July 2013 National Social Security Authority (Nssa) Harare Regional Employer Closures and Registrations Report for the period July 2011 to July 2013 shows 711 companies in Harare have closed down, rendering 8 336 people jobless. In addition, many companies are downsizing and have retrenched tens of thousands of their employees, condemning them to a gloomy future.
“We are looking at a situation where companies are closing down,” said Emcoz director John Mufukare. “We accept there are issues beyond wages which are causing companies to close down and we are saying is it not within our capacity as a labour market to do something about these closures.”
He said this is the first wage summit being held which is different from the previously held preparation meetings for wage bargaining for the next year.
Mufukare said the current situation was an “absolute crisis” and this summit will bring together the 54 National Employment Councils, trade unions ,labour minister Nicholas Goche, MDC-T shadow labour minister Paurina Mpariwa as well as representatives from the business community. He said Emcoz’s proposal at the summit is to base renumeration on productivity to avoid the wage spiral that has made the economy less competitive and was hopeful they would reach an agreement.
Mufukare said they were also looking to lobby parliamentarians to amend certain sections of the Labour Act which he said were inimical to business. He said the act was very good for a booming economy but not for the country’s parlous state of the economy.