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ZIMRA employees down tools as calls to abandon Zim dollar salaries grows

* ZIMRA employees down tools
* mine workers reject ‘paltry’ salary hike
* ZESA employees on go-slow

Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) employees, have joined a growing list of restive employees, across various sectors, ratcheting pressure on authorities to increase salaries in tandem with rising inflation.

This comes as Zimbabwe Diamond Allied and Minerals Workers Union (ZDAMWU) on Wednesday rejected a recent salary increment offer of between 46 and 50 percent from the National Employment Council (NEC) for the mining industry, describing it as a mockery.

At the same time, Zimbabwe Energy Workers Union (ZEWU) say its members “no longer have the capacity to report for duty as expected”, citing “incapacitation caused by unbearable economic conditions.”

Teachers who had been on strike demanding restoration of their pre-October 2018 salaries of about US$540 only recently returned to work albeit begrudgingly after Government tabled a 20 percent salary hike and additional incentives.

Turning to ZIMRA, the tax collector employees raised alarm over the rapid erosion of their salaries amid a sharp increase of prices of basic commodities, adding their salaries remained static despite the decline of their value.

The tax collector employees informed their employee in a letter delivered by Zimbabwe Revenue and Allied Workers Trade Union (ZIMRATU) to the ZIMRA Acting Commissioner General on Monday.

ZIMRATU president Dominic Manyangadze said the association had become increasingly worried about the deteriorating working conditions of its members across the country.

ZIMRA recently increased employee salaries for the period January to December 2022. ZIMRATU was quick to dismiss that increase as paltry.

“The fact that fuel alone has in the last week skyrocketed, we observed that transport fares are now being demanded in US$ dollars, mindful that workers are now earning far less the August 2021 salaries in real terms…we note that most of our members will not have the capacity to report to work with immediate effect,” Manyangadze wrote in a letter that was later signed as received by ZIMRA top officials.

Manyangadze said ZIMRA employees are no longer able to have a decent living and can no longer afford basic goods and services.

He added that it was unjust that ZIMRA workers housing allowances was being paid in RTGS while most landlords had since started charging rentals in US$.

Employees also pointed to recent hike in school fees and that official inflation was at 60.61% in January before moving to 66.01% in February, was reason enough to increase salaries.

Meanwhile, ZDAMWU on Wednesday rejected a recent salary which was offered after negotiations between the Associated Mine Workers Union of Zimbabwe (AMWUZ) and the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe (CMZ).

The new increase will see the lowest employee earning ZWL$45 000 from ZWL$30 000 a month. The highest paid worker, on the other hand, will now be earning about ZWL$104 000, from ZWL$71 000.

“We would like to unequivocally state that the recent salary adjustment which was reached between the National Employment Council (NEC) and Amwuz is nothing but a farce. The increments are nothing but actually a selling out salary negotiation outcome,” ZDAMWU general secretary Justice Chinhema, said.

He said the salary hike was a mockery considering that the Poverty Datum Line (PDL) is pegged at $70 000, and most mines earned foreign currency.

“As workers, we have lost faith with individuals who are purporting to be representing workers at NEC but in actual fact are representing their own selfish interests,” ZDAMWU said.