CONSTRUCTION workers have given 72 hours notice to shut down the tools if their wage demands are not met.
In a memorandum, the general secretary of the Zimbabwe Construction and Allied Trade Workers Union, Muchapiwa Mazarura, said that despite the start of wage negotiations in March, their demands for better pay had been ignored.
Mazarura said nothing tangible came out of wage negotiations between workers and employers, which included the Construction Industry Federation of Zimbabwe (CIFOZ) and the Zimbabwe Building Builders Association (ZBCA). .
“Under the terms of the National Employment Council (NEC) Constitution, it states that after the parties of the council have reached an agreement, they must sign the circular which is said to have been prepared and circulated by the NEC secretariat. In accordance with this constitutional obligation, the NEC Secretariat has prepared the wage circular and sent it to all concerned parties,” Mazarura said in the note to all workers in the construction industry and companies. .
“As things stand, there has been no official communication as to whether CIFOZ has taken this deliberate step. We therefore draw your attention to the fact that if the employers’ organization, that is- i.e. CIFOZ and ZBCA, maintains this unconstitutional position of not honoring the position taken by the highest body of the NEC, as a workers organization we will have no choice but to call for a national work stoppage. This position has been endorsed by the union leadership,” he said.
Mazarura called on all construction workers in the country to unite and make sure they deal with their “capitalist employers”.
“As you know, we started the negotiation process in March 2022 and so far they still refuse to respect the workers by paying them a living wage,” he said, adding that the functional infrastructure and development in the country cannot be achieved by the labor of construction workers.
“Please note that if there is no affirmative action from employers within 72 hours, we will lower the tools,” Mazarura said.
Efforts to get a comment from CIFOZ President Emmanuel Chimedza were futile yesterday as he was not responding to calls. ZBCA Chairman Petros Kagwere’s mobile phone was unreachable.
In a related case, a union representing all security companies in the country has called for pay adjustments for all security guards.
Private Security Workers Union General Secretary Jonh Manyuchi said yesterday that all security companies must pay their workers using a single currency.
“What employers are doing is some security companies are paying their employees in US dollars, while others are paying their employees in local currency,” he said.
“We call for common sense in the sector. Workers demand the restoration of their purchasing power by denominating their wages in US dollars.”
In a statement, the National Employment Council for Zimbabwe’s Security Industry said at a July 8, 2022 meeting that unions have demanded that the lowest paid in the industry be paid $260 a month, to be paid at the interbank rate in force on the date of payment of the salary.
“Employers have revised their offer to $65,000 for July 2022, $75,000 for August and $85,000 for September 2022. Unions have revised their offer to US$254 for the entire quarter denominated in RTGS at the interbank rate valid for July being only $100,000 and August and September must be negotiated separately,” the NEC statement read.
They said negotiators would meet twice more, but if they could not agree, the matter would be referred to arbitration to avoid crippling the security industry.