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Zimbabwe Labor Body Says Price Blitz Hindering Wage Negotiations

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions said the government’s blitz on prices is hindering wage talks with some employers proposing to reverse increases already agreed upon while others have suspended wage negotiations altogether.

The union said those proposing to reverse hikes argue that they negotiated before prices were slashed and cannot honor the agreement due to the reductions.

The union is demanding the minimum monthly wage be set at Z$8.2 million (US$55) to match what it calculates to be the national poverty line. Minimum monthly wages in industry are around Z$2 million while farm workers are paid $350,000 a month.

It takes around Z$150,000 to buy one U.S. dollar on the parallel market.

The signature this June of a price and incomes stabilization protocol has produced no results because no one is taking the document seriously, union sources said.

ZCTU spokeswoman Khumbulani Ndlovu told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that the trade union confederation is asking Labor Minister Nicholas Goche to intervene.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...