Employers pay less than 5% increase in 2015

THE majority of the more than 50 national employment councils (Necs) in the country have agreed on increments of less than 5% for 2015, with several others failing to increase wages, businessdigest has learnt.

Kudzai Kuwaza

As workers push for better working conditions and remuneration, most business owners are either downsizing or shutting down due to operational challenges, largely stemming from an unfavourable macroeconomic environment.

Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe (Emcoz) executive director John Mufukare said most NECs reached an agreement to increase salaries by less than 5% due to the harsh economic environment.

“Most employment councils have agreed on increments of less than 5% with a good number not paying any increment at all,” Mufukare said.

“This shows that reality has sunk in as workers acknowledge what their organisations can and cannot afford.”
Mufukare added that some of the Necs had not met to negotiate for an increment in 2015 as they were still battling to agree on a minimum wage for 2014.

He said there was “peace on the labour market” as economic difficulties have drastically reduced the militancy of workers which resulted in strikes for better remuneration.

Meanwhile, Emcoz was forced to postpone the retrenchment meeting with employers which had been set for Wednesday this week to Friday next week as the engineering sector could not attend due to other commitments, Mufukare said. The meeting was organised to discuss retrenchment guidelines set by labour minister Priscah Mupfumira and come up with a formal response to the guidelines.

In line with the requirements, companies are required to provide details of fees the board of directors get and the difference in the wage bill after the retrenchment exercise has been implemented.

“After the meeting, we will knock on the minster’s door with our response and also discuss with her about setting the date for our next Tripartite Negotiating Forum meeting,” Mufukare said.