4 food sector unions reach Q1 wage agreements

By Jokoiah Mawopa

Four sectors in the food industry have concluded wage negotiations with the lowest getting above ZWL$3000-00 inclusive of allowances.

The four, Meat Fish, Poultry, Abattoir and Meat Processing srector, Brewing and Allied Industries, Sweets and Confectionery and Sugar Processing sector have agreed to reduce life span of their agreements to three months from four months citing the inflationary environment.

The first agreements will run from 1 of January 2020 to 31 of March 2020. The increments range from 80 percent to 134.71 percent of basic wages and corresponding percentages for other allowances.

The minimum basic wage for the Brewing and sugar processing sectors is now ZWL2400 and for the Sugar Processing is now ZWL 2200 whilst the lowest paid in Meat fish will get ZWL2000 for January and ZWL2100 for February and March 2020.

Further to the agreed basic wages the National Employment Council agreed on transport and housing allowances ranging from ZWL500-00 to ZWL660-00 and ZWL400-00 to ZWL500-00 respectively. This will translate to gross basic wage of ZWL3038-00 for the lowest paying sector and ZWL3380-00 for the highest paying sector. The increments are however below the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions proposed national minimum wage of ZWL3800- 00.

Commenting on the increments the Food Federation and Allied Workers Union of Zimbabwe general secretary Runesu Dzimiri said they were optimistic of attaining the national minimum wage in the food industry.

“Our biggest challenge was on our baseline that was far much low hence we have to employ a strategy of gradual increases until we reach the ZCTU benchmarks, we have not abandoned neither ignore the call by our National Center,” he said.

The remaining sectors to conclude negotiations in the food industry are Food Processing, Milling and the Baking sector.

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