By Alois Vinga
The Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ) has bemoaned the prolonged poor salaries problem threatening to ground the nation to a halt due to incapacitation of workers.
Speaking to The Worker, Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ) director, Doctor Godfrey Kanyenze urged employers to bear with the country’s workers.
“Even though inflation is going down workers in the country are experiencing difficulties in meeting their daily expenses. The Covid-19 pandemic has further worsened already existing problems for the majority of workers who are operating in the informal economy,” he said.
The renowned economist urged employers to negotiate in good faith in order to end the prolonged labour crisis.
“Talk of any inflationary pressures resulting from salary increases will not subsist at a time when expenses remain high with employers failing to return to work,” he said.
The remarks come against a background where both civil servants and private sector workers are pushing for a living wage.
The monthly cost of living for an ordinary family of five rose this February to record $25 935 according to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT). The agency recently reported the Food Poverty Line (FPL) for one person in February 2021 was $3 934 while the Total Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL) for one person stood at $5 187 in February 2021.
Government workers are currently demanding around US$500 which was last paid in October 2018 before the commencement of economic reforms which led to salary erosion.
Labour Minister, Paul Mavima recently urged civil servants to make realistic demands arguing that inflation is going down hence the need to avoid destabilising economic fundamentals and threaten future progress.
However, most workers in the country are currently earning below $13 000 prompting many to struggle to turn up for work.
Meanwhile the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions is embarking on an anti-wage theft campaign. The campaign seeks to sensitise workers on identifying wage theft practices and how they may seek redress.