Workers’ unions yesterday reiterated their call for salaries in United States Dollars (USD) with one union saying the lowest-paid worker should get US$840.
They said United States dollar salaries were the only way to cushion workers from the inflationary economy.
Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Unions secretary David Dzatsunga said they were now demanding US$840 for the least-paid civil servant. NewsDay cites him as saying:
It is the only way we can cushion workers from the rampant Zimbabwe dollar inflation. I believe that our position now stands at about US$840 for the lowest-paid worker if we are going to obtain a food basket. In our next round of meetings, we are going to press on for US$ salaries.
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions’ secretary-general Japhet Moyo said employees now deserved to be paid in foreign currency to make ends meet. He said:
The economy has dollarised but workers are not getting US dollar salaries.
During the last round of negotiations which took place in December, government acknowledged that the economy was dollarising, hence agreeing to US$150 for the lowest-paid worker.
The talks ended in a deadlock as to how the US$ salaries should be implemented. The option was either government introduces a statutory instrument or the money is paid in the local currency, but equivalent to US$. Employers preferred the latter and this is where we are.
The Zimbabwe dollar which was re-introduced in February 2019, after being ditched for a decade, has been continuously shedding value against other currencies, particularly the USD.
The depreciation of the local currency has promoted the use of foreign currency.
Public sector workers have over the years asked the government to restore their pre-October 2018 salaries that werearound US$540 on average. The government has said it does not have enough forex to pay them that amount.