EMPLOYERS in the timber industry have appealed to the Labour Court to reduce the minimum wage from US$150 to US$105 after their appeal to do so at arbitration failed, businessdigest has learnt.
Employers in the timber sector include Allied Timbers, Border Timbers and Wattle Company.
“Workers in the sector won the arbitration case to maintain the minimum wage at US$150 and not reduce it to US$105,” an informed source said.
“Employers in the sector have now taken the issue to the Labour Court to appeal the arbitration ruling.”
Employers have cited operational difficulties caused by the harsh economic environment as reason to push the wages downwards. The workers’ representative body, the General Agricultural and Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe, will contest the employers’ appeal.
Meanwhile, negotiations in the mining sector between the Associated Mineworkers Union of Zimbabwe and the employer body ,the Chamber of Mines, for the 2016 minimum wage are set to begin next month with the two parties set to exchange position papers.
Mineworkers are angling for a 10% increase in the minimum wage while the Chamber feels that the 3% increment awarded for this year is enough to cover for 2016. The Chamber believes that the increase far exceeds the inflation rate which stands at -2,46%.
“We have engaged the Chamber of Mines and we will soon exchange position papers before going into full swing negotiations which will probably begin next month,” the mineworkers’ union president Tinago Ruzive told businessdigest on Wednesday. “As you know we will have to haggle and dicker in the negotiations. It will not be a walk in the park.” — Staff Writer.