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'Mnangagwa's economy has turned workers into slaves'

by Staff reporter
27 Aug 2019 at 07:45hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) western region chairman Ambrose Sibindi has lamented the escalating level of poverty among workers caused by the continuous erosion of their salaries.

Speaking to Southern Eye yesterday, Sibindi said the prevailing interbank rating of the economy had exposed workers whose salaries remain stagnant.

"The situation is getting worse as workers have been reduced to slaves in their own country. Workers' salaries in the majority of cases are less than $500 when the food basket for a family of six is above $2 000," Sibindi noted.

"Prices of basic commodities are rising at an alarming rate and in some cases on a weekly basis. The best approach will be to multiply workers' salaries by the interbank rate to restore the actual value that prevailed during the US-dollar era; thereafter, negotiations will be done to cushion workers."

Sibindi said there was no hope that closed companies would be reopened

"Poverty levels are so high that the middle class no longer exists, it's now the stinking rich few individuals and the poor on the other extreme end. In fact, workers are just going to work to secure their jobs and nothing more," Sibindi said.

He added that there was need for negotiations between workers and their employers to find how best all interests can be balanced.

Government in the past weeks banned the opposition MDC demonstrations which were slated for urban areas and also cracked down on teachers who protested at the Finance minister Mthuli Ncube's offices in Harare over the deteriorating economic situation in the country.

The ZCTU said if government can violently crack down on demonstrators the way it did, the best option was for workers to stay at home and if the same government hunts for them at their homes, it will obviously be a gross human rights violation.

Government last week offered civil servants a 76% wage increment which is still far below what they had proposed as a minimum wage.

The civil servants had early this year proposed a minimum wage of over $4 000 for the least-paid workers to cushion them from the ever-increasing cost of living.

The civil servants have since rejected the offer, saying it is far below their expectations.

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Source - newsday