Gvt, business, labour agree anti-inflation measures
Harare (New Ziana) –Parties to the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) have agreed on measures to stabilise the economy through restraining price and wage demands, a Cabinet Minister has said.
The TNF is a platform that brings together social partners – government, business and labour – to discuss critical issues affecting the economy and recommend solutions.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mavhima told New Ziana that he would be taking the recommendations of the parties to Cabinet on Tuesday for approval.
“Yes the TNF met and we agreed that there should be moderation to avoid runaway inflation,” he said.
“I am happy with the discussions as they are laying the foundation for a social contract,” he added, but declined to give details until cabinet approval is secured.
But a source who attended the TNF meeting, which took place last Friday, said the parties had agreed on benchmarks for minimum salaries which should guide the various National Employment Councils to take effect from this month.
“We agreed that there will be no salary negotiations below US$150 per month with effect from September this year,” he said.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source said the parties agreed that those employers who did not charge exclusively in foreign currency would pay at least 65 percent of salaries in United States dollars, and the remainder in local currency at the existing inter-bank rate.
“As organised labour, we appreciate that we need our local currency, we cannot abandon it, so there is need to find ways of maintaining its strength,” he said.
“It is a sigh of relief for us as labour as some employers are paying their workers as little as US$25 per month and yet most goods are being priced in US dollars.”
Meanwhile, Mavhima said his Ministry had since submitted the name of the person who was found suitable for appointment as TNF executive director to President Emmerson Mnangagwa for approval.
Mavhima said the person had since gone through the necessary security vetting process and cleared,and was now awaiting approval by the President.
He said the government was satisfied with the progress that was being made in operationalising the TNF, whose standard operating procedures (SOP) were developed and agreed on last year.
The SOPs outline the rules of engagement of the TNF to ensure that it functions smoothly and adheres to good corporate governance protocols and procedures.