BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
TOURISM workers and employers representatives are this month expected to meet in the capital to review their salaries following the sharp increase in the cost of living, an official has said.
Employers’ Association for Tourism and Safari Operators (Eatso) president Clement Mukwasi told NewsDay that the cost of living had gone up, hence the need to review salaries.
“We are doing salary negotiations on the 18th of March. So we have set a date. We are going to negotiate on the 18th and on the 19th of March. Salaries are definitely going up because the prices went up by a significant margin in the market,” Mukwasi said.
The cost of living in Zimbabwe has shot up to alarming levels since last year due to rising inflation currently hovering at around 56,9%.
Some companies in the tourism sector pay salaries in foreign currency, while others use the real time gross settlement dollar (ZWR).
“The cost of living changed and the monetary policy has also given us certain direction, which has a ripple effect on the buying power of the people. So combine all those factors, employers and employees are going to find a path that is going to ensure the employees continue loving their job and earning a living and also sustaining the viability of the company.
“We don’t have the specific figures yet, but it is definite that the salaries are going to go up, in the ZWR$. So we are just bracing ourselves for the percentages,” he said.
The tourism sector is divided into three sections — sector one for mainly hotel and lodge employees and sector two for those in conservation, safari and wildlife operations.
The third sector is that of workers employed by companies involved in conservation and agriculture.
Last year, the tourism industry employers awarded workers a 5% basic salary increment which saw the lowest paid employee earning $128 per month, excluding allowances.