THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has expressed suspicion over the motives of people calling for remuneration cuts and freezes saying they are covert employers seeking to exploit workers.
Zimbabwe Revenue Authority boss Gershem Pasi called for wage cuts, saying the economy could not sustain current “high” salaries, but the ZCTU said he should stay out of salary issues and concentrate on tax collection.
The labour body voiced concerns over the growing number of individuals in government circles trying to tamper with workers’ incomes by calling for remuneration cuts or freezes.
“Salaries are a result of collective bargaining processes and cannot be tempered with,” ZCTU said. Pasi reportedly called for a cut in salaries across the board saying the government should stop creating too many non-productive entities that are milking treasury.
His calls came after Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Manguda called for a salary freeze in his January 2015 monetary policy statement.
They both said the prevailing economic situation could not sustain a huge salary bill.
However, the ZCTU said these remarks smacked of a conspiracy against the working population by those in the corridors of power.
“The ZCTU is worried that the individuals calling for salary cuts and a wage freeze are all employers in one way or another and one wonders who they are speaking for. Their sincerity is suspect because these are individuals bent on reducing the wage bills of their privately owned companies at the expense of suffering workers,” the labour union said.
The workers’ representatives noted an abnormal situation in the country where 92% of government revenue went towards recurrent expenditure but blamed this on ghost workers and hefty executive salaries in parastatals.
“The government also needs to devise ways to revive the manufacturing industry instead of sacrificing the masses for their political survival.”
The union challenged Mangudya and Pasi to disclose their salaries and benefits for comparison with what employees earned.
“In fact, we wonder what their interests are. They should concentrate on their core business rather than venture into labour issues where they do not belong.”