Business

Retail Workers Bemoan  Taxation, Low Salaries

Retail workers and wholesale sector have appealed to government to revisit its taxation system saying it is unjustified because the majority of them earn below the prescribed minimum wages.

Addressing journalists in Harare, Progressive Retail Wholesale Workers Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Phillip Mafundu said the taxation system would leave them poorer.“We appeal to Finance minister (Mthuli Ncube) to revisit the issue of taxing to say how can someone who is getting US$265,which is not even a living wage, be taxed? It is our view again to say the tax bracket should be changed,” Mafundu said.

“They say US$100 is tax free, and then what can we do with US$100? Our proposal is very simple, we are saying if the government wants to tax its citizens the tax should start from a living wage where I get something that is above the basic. If we calculate our basics and they come to US$300-400 that should be taxed, but if I am left with US$100 and you tax that automatically I cannot even pay my rent.

“So that is the concern, the minimum wage should be raised and the tax bracket should also be raised. The minimum wage should not even be taxed.” The workers expressed concern over being enslaved by companies and unions which are formulating wages below the poverty datum line.

“This is all caused by the National Employment Council (Nec) of the commercial sector, which is allowing these workers who do not have representations to sit down at the table and talk about the working conditions and salaries for people who are not their members,” he said.

Mafundu blamed tuckshops and illegal business which are benefiting from the current situation by not paying their workers a living wage citing economic hardships.“We are not against tuckshops, but tuckshops should comply.”

Mafundu called on Nec to implement the new section 56 of the Labour Act [Chapter 28:10] and allow other unions with membership to negotiate for their members saying workers in the sector have suffered enough at their behest.

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