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The Mozambican government on Tuesday announced increases in the statutory minimum wages, ranging from 5.5 to 21 per cent, depending on sector.
The new minimum wages arise out of the annual negotiations in the Labour Consultative Commission (CCT), the tripartite body between the government, the employers, and the trade unions.
The discussions took place behind closed doors, and neither the employers nor the unions revealed their negotiating positions to the media. Announcing the new wages at the end of Tuesday’s session of the Council of Ministers (Cabinet), Labour Minister Vitoria Diogo did not reveal whether the negotiations had resulted in full consensus.
She said the government had taken its decision on the wage rises “bearing in mind the current economic situation of the country”.
Diogo claimed that these “are the increases in the minimum wages that are possible, but we urge everyone to commit themselves to the culture of work, by increasing production and productivity”.
There is no longer a single minimum wage. Instead the negotiations over the minimum wage have covered 15 sectors and sub-sectors. The highest percentage rise, 21 per cent, is for the government’s own employees, in the public administration. The lowest, 5.5 per cent, is for the hotel industry.
According to the Bank of Mozambique, the latest annual inflation figure, covering the period 1 April 2016 to 30 March 2017, is 21.57 per cent. Thus all of the wage rises are lower than the rate of inflation, and amount to a cut in real wages.
The new monthly minimum wages, as announced by Diogo are as follows (with the old wages in parentheses):
1. Agriculture, hunting and forestry: 3,642 meticais, equivalent to 56 US dollars (3,298 meticais), an increase of 10.4 per cent.
2. Industrial and semi-industrial fishing: 4,615 meticais (3,815 meticais), an increase of 20.97 per cent.
2a) The kapenta (Lake Tanganyika sardine) fishery on Cahora Bassa lake: 3,780 meticais (3,375 meticais), an increase of 12 per cent.
3. Mining: 6,963 meticais (6,213 meticais), an increase of 12.7 per cent
3a) Quarries: 5,200 meticais (4,907 meticais), an increase of six per cent
3b) Salt pans: 4,734 meticais (4,476 meticais), an increase of 5.73 per cent.
4. Manufacturing industry: 5,695 meticais (5,200 meticais), an increase of 14.71 per cent.
4a) Bakeries: 4,335 meticais (3,985 meticais), an increase of 8.78 per cent.
5. Electricity, gas and water (large companies): 7,286 meticais (6.037 meticais), an increase of 20.7 per cent
5b) Electricity, gas and water (small companies): 6,002 meticais (5,422 meticais), an increase of 10.7 per cent.
6. Building industry: 5,436 meticais (4,887 meticais), an increase of 11.25 per cent.
7. Non-financial services: 5,525 meticais (5,050 meticais), an increase of 9.4 per cent
7a) Hotel industry: 5,328 meticais (5,050 meticais), an increase of 5.5 per cent.
8. Financial services: 10,400 meticais (8,750 meticais), an increase of 18.87 per cent.
8a) Microfinances: 9,240 meticais (8,400 meticais), an increase of 10 per cent.
9. Public administration, defence and security: 3,996 meticais (3,278 meticais), an increase of 21 per cent.
The only sectors that will now pay a minimum wage that is more than the current equivalent of 100 US dollars a month are mining, large companies in electricity, gas and water, and financial services.
The government, however, only sets the minimum wage in the private sector. All wages above the minimum are set through collective bargaining between the employers and the trade unions, in each company or workplace.
Diogo stressed “these are only national minimum wages. Many companies are paying much higher wages than the minimum”.Source: AIM