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Pay rise for Tongaat Hulett workers

Pay rise for Tongaat Hulett workers

 

Tongaat Hulett has approved  a 7.5 percent and 15 percent pay rise for its employees

Tongaat Hulett has approved a 7.5 percent and 15 percent pay rise for its employees

Walter Mswazie in Masvingo
ABOUT 21 000 Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe workers in Chiredzi will this week smile all the way to the bank after their employer finally approved a 7.5 percent and 15 percent pay rise back dated to April1, 2017.

According to a Memorandum of Agreement notice from the National Employment Council for the Sugar Milling Industry on the collective bargaining between Tongaat Hulett and employees represented by the Zimbabwe Sugar Milling Industry Workers’ Union (ZSMIWU), the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services has given notice over the new salary adjustments for the sugarcane workers.

“Memorandum of Agreement is hereby and entered into, in terms of section 79 of the Labour Act (Chapter 28:01), between ZSMIWU and (hereinafter styled “the employees” or the trade union) on the other hand,” reads part of the notice.

“Now, therefore, it is hereby agreed that the following is the agreement entered into by the employers and employees; with effect from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018, the wages of employees from Grades A to B5 be increased by 15 percent and 7.5 percent.

“This should be according to the arbitration award of October 18, 2017 granted by Judge Justice George Smith (Retired) and upheld by Justice Owen Tagu of the High Court on March 14, 2018.”

Grade A1 will get an increase from $180 to $207, Grade A2 from $197 to $227.68, A3 from $217.77 to $250.44, B1 from $272.16 to $292.57, B2 from $299.50 to $321.96, B3 from $329.41 to $354.12, B4 from $411.87 to $442.73 and those in Grade B5 will get a monthly salary of $486.84 up from $452.87.
“Actuals shall be increased by the same magnitude of 15 percent and 7.5 percent for A and B employees,” reads the notice.

ZSMIWU secretary general, Captain Faster Gono, hailed the company for finally acceding to the arbitration award saying employees’ welfare should take precedence so that they are motivated to increase production.

“We are happy that the company has finally acceded to the arbitration award. We wanted more than the 15 percent and 7.5 percent but half a loaf is better than nothing.

“We also thank the renowned Judge Justice Smith for coming to the workers’ rescue. We are eager to work in unison with our employer for the betterment of the sugar industry in the country,” said Capt Gono.

The salary adjustment ends a four-year protracted wage increase dispute between Tongaat Hulett and its workers.

The workers led by ZSMIWU were in 2014 engaged in a crippling industrial action which saw operations at Hippo Valley and Triangle Estates in Chiredzi coming to a standstill as the workers demanded a pay rise.

The 21 000 workers only returned to work after the intervention of the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services.

This, however, did not yield any meaningful results on the workers’ side and the matter was taken to the Labour Court by ZSMIWU demanding a 39 percent increase for the lowest worker. There was a deadlock as the employer was non-committal to any increase of salaries.

After the deadlock, the matter went for voluntary arbitration where the employees were granted a 15 percent and 7.5 percent salary increase by the Labour Court.

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