On 30 June, the National Union of Plantation Agricultural and Allied Workers of Zambia (NUPAAW) concluded negotiations at Zambia Sugar, an Illovo Sugar subsidiary, covering about 6,500 workers, some 1,900 as permanent employees and the balance as seasonal workers at peak times.
The agreement grants a 13 percent wage increase for permanent workers, making the new lowest rate close to USD 331.97 and $692.69 the highest. For seasonal workers, the rates run from a low of $152.90 to a high of $541.38. (Exchange rate is about ZMK 6.97=USD 1.00. Inflation rate is reported at 7 percent as June 2015.)
Other benefits for permanent workers include a 23 percent in education allowance up to $256.24; a seven percent on leave allowance, up to $370.60, and funeral grants for permanent employees are: an increase of 100 percent for the employee (up to $286.95), 101 percent for dependants (to $215) and 347 percent for the employee’s parents and siblings (to $286.95). Seasonal employees will benefit with a 100 percent increase in funeral grant, up to $286.95.
Permanent employees and dependants and seasonal employees receive, as part of the funeral grants, some mealie-meal, hearse service, a standard coffin and firewood,.
Long-service awards for permanent employees range from $466.60 on 10 years of service up to $1,147.78 on 35 years or more.
Readjustments on travel and subsistence allowances include lunch and out-of-pocket expenses up to $8.60 for each; and an overnight allowance on own arrangement up to $35.90.
Outstanding issues still under discussion are a Wage Structure, the Performance-related Bonus Scheme (PRBS), and a Resettlement Scheme for retirees.
In recent years, Zambia Sugar has attracted a considerable investment by Illovo, with an expansion program completed in 2009 that brought annual production capacity from about 200,000 tonnes to 450,000. It is also proposed setting up of an ethanol plant and expanding the company’s refining capacity.
Zambia Sugar contributes with some 35 percent of the operational profits of Illovo Sugar Group, second only to operations in Malawi that account with 38 percent of the Group’s profits. Zambia Sugar is listed on the Lusaka Stock Exchange, and Illovo Sugar owns 76 percent; while Associated British Foods plc holds 51.35 percent of Illovo. (With information from NUPAAW.)