The National Union of Plantation, Agriculture and Allied Workers (NUPAAW) concluded negotiations with Zambia Sugar Plc on 23rd March 2016 and an addendum to the Collective Agreement on 13th April 2016, after seven rounds of negotiation on the 2016-2017 Wages, Salaries and Financial terms that started on 31 December 2015.
The agreement grants an eighteen percent (18%) wage increase for around 1,700 permanent workers and fifteen percent (15%) for over 3,600 seasonal workers. As the crushing season has just started at the moment of signing, the actual number of permanent and seasonal employees may increase, particularly with the influx of seasonal workers at the peak of the harvest.
With the new wage rates, permanent workers move up from a lowest rate of USD241 for those in the A1 category to a highest of $588.03 for those in C2 category. Seasonal employees moved from $94.02 to $108.13. (Inflation rate is quoted at 22.20 percent (22.20%), making the wage increase lower by 4.2% lower.)
In relation to financial allowances, the agreement grants an increase of twenty-five percent on Education Allowance (up from $156.80 to $196); fourteen percent on Leave Allowance (from $226.78 to $258.53); Lunch away from station from $5.27 to $8.78; Lunch on Subsistence on Repatriation from $5.27 to $8.78 and Overnight allowance (out of pocket) from $21.95 to $26.34). (USD 1.00 = ZMK 11.39)
Zambia Sugar is owned by Illovo Sugar, a South Africa-based transnational with sugar operations in Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, Swaziland and South Africa. Recently, the Associated British Food (ABF) made a move to buy Illovo’s 49 percent stake that it does not own, while AB Sugar, ABF’s sugar arm, said it is planning to sell their Chinese sugar concerns.
(With information provided by NUPAAW.)