THE Chamber of Mines and the Associated Mine Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (Amwuz) are set to meet on Thursday next week to discuss the wage increment for next year, businessdigest has learnt.
The negotiations come at the time of a deepening economic crisis characterised by a severe liquidity crunch, an acute cash shortage, dwindling investment inflows and massive job losses.
Amwuz president Tinago Ruzive told businessdigest on Wednesday that the two parties will meet next week Thursday.
“We are meeting on December 7 to discuss the issue of wages,” Ruzive said. “We have been delayed by the Chamber of Mines who were not yet ready for the meeting.”
He, however, has declined to reveal the percentage increase they agreed they will demand during the negotiations.
But sources involved in the negotiations revealed that the mineworkers will demand an increment of between 5-10%.
The mine workers have pointed out that the increment will help cushion workers from the increase in prices of most basic goods.
Employers are looking at an increment of just between 1-2%, taking into consideration the viability challenges the mining sector is facing.
“While employers in the mining sector appreciate the need for an increment, they are facing major challenges in production, which hampers the ability to give an increment,” an official told businessdigest earlier last month. “If you suggest a reduction, there is bound to a major protest somewhere.”
The mine workers’ union recently shelved their proposal to negotiate a salary increment twice a year. The mine workers’ body had resolved to call for wage negotiations to be held twice a year instead of just once annually, to cushion workers against the effects of the deteriorating economy.
The two parties last year agreed on a 1,5% increment in the minimum wage for 2017 after protracted negotiations.
Mining contributes 9% directly to the Gross Domestic Product, 13% to government revenue and 59% to total national exports.