Workers reject productivity-linked wages

HARARE - Workers have rejected a government and business proposal to introduce productivity-linked wages.

This followed negotiations held in the resort town of Victoria Falls last week between representatives of government and National Employment Councils (NECs) 

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), the country’s biggest trade union; and its breakaway faction the Concerned Affiliates of ZCTU, vowed to resist the productivity-linked wages.

Japhet Moyo, the ZCTU president, accused government of whipping NECs to rubber-stamp Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa’s belief that the current labour laws were skewed in favour of workers.

“The government is being pushed by business to dance to their tune and what happened in Victoria Falls was a mere gathering to whip NECs into line,” Moyo said.

Chinamasa indicated in his budget statement last year that he intended to engage his Labour and Social Welfare counterpart Nicholas Goche with a view to liberalising the labour laws as well as introducing productivity-based wages to save companies from folding.

Moyo, however, argued the problem of companies folding lay in dearth of modern corporate governance value systems in industry.

The ZCTU leader said there was empirical evidence that when European countries did the experiment to pay production-linked wages, they did not create more jobs but destroyed the existing ones.

“According to information we have, more than 60 percent of all companies that are currently under judicial management are a result of mismanagement not unsustainable wage bills,” he said.

Raymond Majongwe, secretary-general of the Concerned ZCTU Affiliates, warned that the issue was so sensitive that if not properly handled, it could precipitate labour unrest.

Majongwe said last week’s Victoria Falls meeting was a “non event” and implored government “to realise that the proceedings were anti-labour”.

“Workers in Zimbabwe shall not stand by as workers’ rights continue to be trampled upon with impunity by an insensitive business community which would want to sacrifice the worker to perpetuate massive profiteering,” he said.

“We are determined to fight to the bitter end until workers’ fundamental rights are observed.”

About 30 of the 48 registered NECs attended the meeting.

Comments (3)

Not necessarily a bad idea if implemented correctly. Some civil servants go to work to hang around and kill time while waiting to collect pay at month end. Pple shld work for their money - it is only fair. Here in RSA we fill in timesheets to collate salary with productivity. Same in the USA.

Wasu - 21 March 2014

Hard Human Resources Management strategies will fail. It failed in China, UK, USA. However a combination of Soft and Hard HRM strategy will definately work in our economy. That means the introduction of minimum wages paid per hour of production. When a worker is not at work for any reason, then no payment should be made. This will protect workers from bad employers but at the same insuring that workers are working. Noone is a loser here.

Ziziharinanyanga - 21 March 2014

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