Energy workers demand US$ salaries

By Staff reporter | 27 Jun 2020 at 17:07hrs
ZIMBABWE Energy Workers Union (Zewu) has appealed to energy companies to peg their salaries in the more stable United States dollars following the continued fall of the Zimdollar against major currencies.

Energy workers said employers had completely ignored the economic situation, resulting in the least-paid worker earning less than $2 000 per month.

"It is unfortunate that the lowest paid worker earns less than $2 000 which converts to less than US$20 when a living wage is pegged at $10 000," Zewu said in a statement yesterday.

"As a result of failure by employers to react to the erosion of salaries, workers are living like scavengers.

"Despite pushing for an engagement at works councils and National Employment Council, there was arrogance on the part of the employers who have failed to respond to the realities on the ground where there is continued skyrocketing of prices."

The workers said as much as other companies in the energy sector had offered interim salary adjustments, the efforts had, not addressed the situation in view of the current economic difficulties.

"We are saddened by the attitude of employers towards collective bargaining as they are deliberately avoiding engaging with workers' representatives and making efforts to delay negotiations in violation of the Labour Act (Chapter 28:01). This unfair labour practice should stop."

Zewu added: "We demand a lasting solution to the current crisis in the energy sector which is to peg the salaries in US dollars.

"We demand that in the interim, employers offer a cushioning allowance in US$ in line with the government's move."

Zewu said it was mobilising its structures for a possible confrontation with the employers if they continued to ignore their demands.

As Zimbabwe's economy continues to crumble, workers fear the country is returning to the 2008 era when a bout of hyperinflation rendered salaries and savings worthless.



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