Will members of the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) find common ground in 2021? That’s the biggest question as the last meeting held in 2020 was aborted over several disagreements.
Employers and workers clashed last year, with the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) demanding US dollar denominated salaries. But, the Employer’s Confederation of Zimbabwe (Emcoz) disagreed. ZCTU secretary general, Japhet Moyo, insists salaries will dominate their next meeting.
“At the moment it will appear like the issue of wages is dominating the debate,” said Moyo.
“As an office we have been tasked to make sure that any opportunity that arises or any engagement that can be initiated with employers or the government, we ensure that the issue of wages also takes precedence,” he shared.
As was the case last year, Emcoz president Dr Israel Murefu differed with his colleagues from the ZCTU.
“The issue of salaries will be given priority but we (social partners) are divided on the matter. If we focus on minimum wages now when the capacity employed is so diminished I think it will not assist us much,” said Dr Murefu.
“It is better to revive companies and businesses first then we can then start talking about what we should pay when we have healthy companies. We can focus on minimum wages now and they will never be paid because the companies might have folded,” highlighted Dr Murefu.
Meanwhile, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister, Professor Paul Mavima, told ZTN that the first TNF meeting will be held in March.
“Our first meeting was supposed to be held this month but unfortunately due to the pandemic and other matters that were arising we failed to do so. However, we will definitely have out first meeting in March,” shared Professor Mavima.
“TNF is mandated to meet at least twice a year, that is what the act says but we can hold emergency meetings when need arises. But, this year we will meet quarterly,” he said.