Business and labour forge MOU
BY ADMORE MARAMBANYIKA
BUSINESS and Labour have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to advance their concerns holistically in order to effectively address their socio-economic challenges affecting their constituencies.
The MOU was signed by the Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ), the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) alongside Zimbabwe Federations of Trade Unions (ZFTU) while realising that the national social dialogue platform, the Tripartite Negotiating Forum was still saddled with a lot of challenges and was unable to fully meet the meet the demands of the two social partners.
“The institutional arrangements for the TNF remain unconcluded and very few meetings have been convened since the Act came into force. Social partners in Zimbabwe continue to express concern that most critical issues and legislative reforms continue to be dealt with outside the TNF,” reads the MoU.
The parties agreed to work together to advance areas of concern such as; lack of honest social dialogue, challenges particularly in relation to freedom of association and protection of the right to organize Convention, fragmented social security schemes, economic challenges, rising poverty and inequality among others.
“The idea is to strengthen the bipartite dialogue between workers’ unions and employer organizations to improve the effectiveness of their advocacy so that they become efficient catalysts for change in the economic and labour market policy arenas,” the agreement reads in part.
Labour and business have often differed on methodologies to address socio-economic challenges and this platform will allow the two social partners to reach a consensus before meeting government at TNF.
Some of the outstanding issues at the TNF include the gazetting of the proposed minimum wage of USD 150-00 per month which remains a recommendation. Labour has been pushing for the gazetting of the minimum wage but continues to face fierce resistance from government and employers. The majority of employers have refused to honour the TNF recommendation and have maintained wages below the proposed minimum while paying allowances in USD.
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