…accuses NEC of approving measly minimum wages
By A Correspondent| Dozens of workers at Ivordale farm in Murehwa are on strike over measly salaries and poor working conditions.
Speaking to this publication on Thursday , vice chair of workers committee, Levy Jackson says there has been a stand off between workers and the administration over pay rise since last week prompting the industrial action on Monday.
“As workers we are saying the wages we are receiving are no longer tenable because of inflation.
“We have also raised concern on the food rations we recieve they’re are being reduced, “said Jackson.”
The management is not providing protective clothing because most of the farmers have no safety shoes. This has led many to be injured while at work,” he adds.
The human resources manager identified as Mr Mark is reported to be adamant that there will be no pay rise as he is paying above the minimum RTGS$ 37 000 dollars gazzetted by NEC.
“The HR manager is saying I can only pay RTGS $45,000 which is not enough even the other arrangement he had suggested of giving us US$40 partly from the salary and the rest in RTGS,” revealed Mr Jackson.
According to a memo by the National Employment Council for the agricultural industry in Zimbabwe signed on 9 June the lowest grade A1 salary should be US$60 while the maximum wage was set at US$119.
The unions that agreed to the slave wages are the Zimbabwe Agricultural Employers Organisation(ZAEO), Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union(ZCFU), Zimbabwe Farmers Union(ZFU), Commercial Farmers Union (CFU),and Zimbabwe Tobbaco Association (ZTA)on the employers’ side and the General Agriculture and Plantation Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ) and Horticulture, General Agriculture and Plantation Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (HGAPWUZ) on the employees side.
Phillip Mafundu, General Secretary, Progressive Agriculture and Allied Industries Workers Union of Zimbabwe, (PAAWUZ) blasted NEC for the impoverishment of farm workers.
“The NEC for farm workers has dismally failed and I don’t know why it continue to deduct monies from workers when its not representing them.
“No right thinking man would set US$60 payable in RTGS as a minimum wage. There is slavery on the farms and the situation needs our government to intervene as a matter of urgency,” blasted Mafundu.