SUBJECT: ECONOMIC REFORMS HAVE FAILED; DOLLARISE AND PAY USD SALARIES
The ZCTU notes with grave concern the spectacular failure of economic reforms being implemented by government which have resulted in serious devaluation of the ZWL and therefore reiterates its call for the full dollarisation of the economy and payment of wages and salaries in USD to cushion workers from the economic implosion which has eroded earnings.
Earnings and investments took a huge knock this week when the ZWL value against the USD fell significantly further compounding the already precarious position of workers earning ZWL salaries as business responded by hiking prices of basic goods and services.
All these developments are coming at a time when government had flatly ignored our advice to implement realistic economic fundamentals and dollarise the economy. From 2016 the ZCTU was opposed to government's economic reforms starting with the introduction of bond notes as the genesis of wage devaluation. Successive reforms including the national budget allocations have also failed to stimulate the economy. Government has also refused to gazette the minimum wage and as a result employers have continued to suppress salaries in ZWL.
The economic and monetary reforms have exacerbated pauperism among workers as the economy has self dollarised. More than 80 percent of local trading is in USD while the ZWL prices are heavily hedged. It is against this background that the ZCTU is calling for a total wage upheaval from ZWL to USD. Obtaining wages that are on average equivalent to 20USD using the official exchange rate cannot sustain workers and their families for a few days.
Henceforth, we are calling on government and employers to review upwards and effect USD salaries and wages this month. In the same vein an immediate review of income tax brackets which project and reflect the future performance of the local currency needs to be implemented. The ZCTU reiterates that our demand for USD salaries is growing in significance by the day. No amount of denial holds water anymore. Failure to adjust accordingly we will take to the streets for our voice to be heard.
Acting Secretary General