ZCTU Calls For RTGS$1,800 Minimum Wage To Cushion Against Price Spikes

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The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has said the minimum wage should be paid in US dollars and proposed US$600 or RTGS$1,800 to cushion workers against the rising cost of living and prices.

“The national minimum wage is the only way to help the suffering workers. After getting reports from all the affiliate unions which represent workers across the country’s economic sectors, the ZCTU general council set the national minimum wage at US$600 or RTGS$1800, a figure which is in line with the poverty datum line,” said the labour union’’s president Peter Mutasa.

The wave of price hikes has been sparked by the continued fall of the local unit, the RTGS dollar against the US dollar.

The Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general, Raymond Majongwe, said poor remuneration had resulted in low morale among workers and employees were on the lookout for other opportunities.

“There can never be good service delivery when 95% of the workers are disgruntled,” Majongwe said.

For Ncube, working for the government has always been a tough choice.

“Ever since I started working in 1990, life for a government worker has been tough and worse for the unemployed. No salary increment as far as I can remember has ever done well for us,” she said.

The rate of decline of the local unit is much faster on the black market, where most businesses turn to for the greenback.

Officially, the interbank rate is $1: ZWL$3.06 according to central bank data where businesses can turn to for the purchase of US dollars. Dollars are sold on “a willing seller and willing buyer” basis. But most banks are unwilling to part with the greenback, which fetches much more on the black market. The rate on the black market is $1: ZWL$4.90.

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