Collective bargaining subject to government approval
Collecting bargaining agreements in Zimbabwe according to the Labour Act is negotiated by registered or certified trade unions, employers and employers organisations or federations.
They may negotiate collective bargaining agreements as to any conditions of employment which are of mutual interest to the parties thereto.
However, collective bargaining is not the exclusive privilege of trade unions in the Labour Act. Workers committees may also bargain at company level.
The law supports the creation of workers committees in enterprises where less than 50% of workers are unionised. These committees are supposed to work together with representatives of management to discuss workplace issues in a Works Council, which have to be approved by the Labour minister.
Their role is to negotiate instant concerns of the workers while trade unions are supposed to concentrate on more long term issues, such as wages.
Though the Labour Act recognises the right to collective bargaining, the 2005 Labour Amendment Act in sections 25, 79, 80 and 81 gives the Minister of Labour the power to approve collective bargaining agreements, register and publish them.
The act also states that collective bargaining agreements should provide for measures to contest violence at the workplace. However, this is seen by trade unions as a way to criminalise striking.
Collective bargaining makes provisions for:
- Rates of remuneration and minimum wages for different grades and types of occupations
- Benefits for employees
- Deductions which an employer may make from employees' wages, including deductions for membership fees and union dues, and deductions which an employer may be required or permitted by law or by order of any competent court to make
- Methods of calculating, or factors for adjusting rates of pay, and the dates, times and modes of payment
- All issues pertaining to overtime, piece-work, periods of vacation and vacation pay and constraints thereon
- The demarcation of the appropriate categories and classes of employment and their respective functions
- The conditions of employment for apprentices
- The number of hours of work and the times of work with respect to all or some of the employees
- The requirements of occupational safety
- The maintenance of, and access by the parties to, records of employment and pay.