By Own Correspondent
CHEMICAL sector employers and workers are embroiled in a bitter dispute over poor salaries which have seen negotiations taking several twists and turns with no concrete agreement being reached so far.
Speaking to The Worker this week, Zimbabwe Chemicals Plastics and Allied Workers Union ZCPAWU secretary general, Godknows Biya accused the sector’s employers for deliberately stalling negotiations.
“We are legally expected to engage employers and agree on a wage increment every three months. However, nothing tangible has materialised in the last quarter since employers in our sector continue to drag their feet in what we suspect to be a deliberate attempt to stifle negotiations. Imagine, after having met for exactly five times in the last quarter, nothing concrete was finanlised,” he said.
Biya said employers in his sector continue to offer a paltry wage increment which is far below the current Poverty Datum Lines.
“They offered 15 % of the current wage of $16 860 inclusive of allowances. The union wanted the salary to go up to $32 000 which is almost a 100 % increment. They have been meeting virtually successively but to not avail,” he said.
In a bid to pile pressure on the sector’s employers, Biya has since written to their respective National Employment Council seeking urgent redress over the matter.
“We have once again brought this matter for your attention following our submissions which we furnished to your office on the 9th of April 2021 as requested by employers. We completed our survey and all companies listed on the attached copy had accepted and are rallying behind the move. They are physically disturbed that this current scenario is never profitable to anyone but extremely exposes them to threats and victimization as they don’t have proper representation.
“Employees under this sector are even surprised why they should be neither National Employment Council graded nor management yet other sectors have a clear cut of grades across the board. Further to that, we appeal to our social partners to handle this case with urgency as it has taken too long,” said Biya in the letter.