Zimbabwe: Construction union wins 240% minimum wage increase
The Zimbabwe Construction and Allied Trades Workers’ Union (ZCATWU) has successfully increased the minimum wage of the country’s construction workers by 240 percent.
The union made the announcement after it concluded an industry-wide wage negotiation with the Construction Industry Federation of Zimbabwe (CIFOZ) and the Zimbabwe Building Contractors Association (ZBCA), which also approved a cost of living adjustment (COLA) of USD 40.00 or its real time gross settlement (RTGS) dollar equivalent per month effective on 1 May.
As a result, the lowest grade construction worker in Zimbabwe is now entitled to a minimum salary of Z$ 17,000 and COLA.
ZCATWU General Secretary Nicholas Muchapiwa Snr Mazarura said that their union played a key role in the forging of the new wage agreement. “It wasn’t an easy road and our fight for a decent wage continues. We would like to thank our members and BWI for supporting us all the way,” he said.
BWI Africa and Middle East Regional Representative Crecentia Mofokeng lauded ZCATWU’s efforts. “We congratulate ZCATWU for this important success amidst the economic and financial challenges faced by Zimbabwe and its workers. This will surely be a source of inspiration as we continue the fight for decent jobs and wages in the region.”
In 2019, the government introduced a new currency to address the return of hyperinflation in the country. It was estimated that inflation reached 500 percent in 2019. The annual inflation rate had risen to 676 percent in March 2020 due to a bleak economic forecast influenced by a 2019 drought and the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the Zimbabwean government claimed that the country’s annual inflation has since been on a downward trend following the introduction of a foreign exchange auction trading system that allegedly helped bring stability to the foreign exchange market.