By Judith Sibanda
Tourism companies nationwide have denied their employees a 320 percent salary increment to cushion them from the prevailing economic turmoil, arguing that the economy had taken a positive trajectory.
Employers Association of Tourism Operators (EASTO) president Clement Mukwasi said instead, the two parties ended up agreeing on cost of living adjustment of 55 percent until the inflation stabilises.
Collective bargaining started last month, with the employer and employee representatives tabling their offers.
The employers were pushing for a cost of living adjustment while the employees wanted a salary adjustment based on the prevailing exchange rate.
“The employers, considering that the economy of the country is in a transitory stage, saw it not fit to have a salary adjustment because it will mean that the adjustment will stay for a year without it being looked at again,” Mukwasi said.
“Their view was that, we do a cost of living adjustment and leave the basic salary in order to cushion the employee against the cost of living in the market.
“However, on the other hand, the employees did not want a cost of living adjustment but preferred a salary increase. In principle, they wanted a basic salary based on exchange control rate of 320% and as a result we agree to settle on 55% in addition of basic salary.”
The lowest paid employee in the sector earns RTGS$180 per month.
On companies mainly in Victoria Falls, already paying in foreign currency, Mukwasi said those were nullified in the talks and will not be discussed going further.
Also, not to be discussed anymore are those who earn half foreign and local currency.
“The discussions of the remaining portion of the talks, that’s on 100% RTGs could not be concluded by the negotiating teams because of their differences,” Mukwasi said.
“Those have been referred to special full council for direction and deliberations. The full council shall therefore be heard on June 30 to ensure and decide which principle is going to guide them moving forward.”
He said those were mainly from conservation and hunting sectors.