Tanzaniaâ?s business community has rejected th e government’s suggestion to raise minimum wages in the private sector by 100 percent, saying i t is unpayable.
Employment, Labour and Youth Development Minister Juma Kapuya early this week an nounced that the government and stakeholders in the labour sector had agreed to the hike , but the business communityâ?s reaction has not been in favour of the move because it would hurt private enterp rises.
In 2007, the government proclaimed statutory minimum wages in various categories , ranging from Tanzanian shillings 65,000 (US$47) a month for domestics to Tsh 350,000 (US$253) in the mi ning sector.
But, Kapuya Tuesday announced the doubling of the wages at a press conference, a n action many observers saw as a last-ditch tack by government to stave off a nationwide strike called by tr ade unions early May.
Press reports Thursday said members of the business community have described the wage increase as â?unrealisticâ?.
Some observers expressed fear that doubling wages was likely to stir up another round of wrangling between the government and the business community.
“We don’t even understand what is written in the media today. Wage orders can in no way be announced through the media. Procedures need to be followed,â? said Association of Tanzania Emplo yers (ATE) Executive Director Aggrey Mulimuka.
Meanwhile, the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture (TCCIA) h as said such an could be only be realistic if the government produced evidence to justify it.
TCCIA president Aloyse Mwamanga said: â?In my view, such an increase is unreali stic. A sound increase must be made with consideration of earnings in the private sector, and if the earnings corres pond with operating costs, including wages.”
On her part, Christine Kilindu, executive director of Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI), said if reports of the minimum wages increase were true, ”then very few industries will survive. It is terribl e. No employer can afford that. â?
But the Labour Minister has warned that any employer who fails to implement the new wages would be penalised