FDD chairperson for labour Yotam Mtayachalo says he hopes the upward adjustment of the minimum wage for domestic workers will not lead to job losses as a result of the current economic challenges.

In a statement, Mtayachalo said his party regards labour as a precious factor of production and as such any efforts by the government to improve salaries and other conditions of service for workers were commendable.

“We are hopeful that key stakeholders as stated by the minister were fully consulted in this regard and it is our desire that employers will be able to pay the new revised minimum wage without any difficulties following the signing of statutory Instruments number 69 and 70 by the Minister of Labour Hon Joyce Simukoko in respect of domestic and shop workers respectively,” Mtayachalo stated. “However, while the upward adjustment of the minimum wage is good news to workers, we hope that such a move may not lead to more job losses in the said sectors in view of economic challenges confronting the nation.”He bemoaned the high cost of doing business in the country.

“Further, it must also be taken into account that the cost of living and doing business in the country has generally escalated over the past few years and this has led to reduced disposable incomes for many households hence possibilities of lay offs cannot be ruled out completely in view of the revision in the minimum wage,” Mtayachalo stated.

He advised the government to grow the economy.“The government is furthermore advised to significantly grow the economy in order to create and safeguard jobs by putting in place viable economic policies, which would trigger real job creation rather than implementing labour reforms which may potentially exacerbate the already high levels of unemployment in the country,” Mtayachalo stated.

He advised the Ministry of Labour to come up with radical labour reforms.

“We are also alive to the fact that there is currently a trade union which is mandated to champion the interests of domestic workers in the country but it is unable to effectively represent the interests of its members due to several factors beyond its control as its potential membership is scattered countrywide making it difficult to organise,” stated Mtayachalo.

“It is in light of the foregoing that the Ministry of Labour is advised to come up with radical labour reforms which would achieve a win-win situation between labour and employers more importantly for those which addresses the plight of disadvantaged workers especially those who are not represented by any trade union.”