The Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) has noted with great concern the paltry salaries Zimpapers reporters are getting, saying their members will not report for duty until their demands are met.
The state run, Zimpapers’ reporters are getting paid an equivalent of USD150, a situation which reflects the dire situation being encountered by local journalists in the local media industry, the union said.
In a statement, ZUJ Secretary General Perfect Hlongwane said journalists’ salaries are no longer matching with the galloping prices.
“The Union is disturbed to know that our members at ZimPapers, particularly the Chronicle, Sunday News, Mthunywa, and B-Metro have declared incapacitation to report for duty due to the meagre salaries that they receive from their employer.
“What’s obtaining at the moment is that reporters at these publications are paid an equivalent of USD150 whose buying power has been eroded by the continuous inflation and price increases,” he said.
“Our members are now unable to commute to and from their workstations as public transport operators are now demanding foreign currency which the reporters don’t earn.”
The declaration of incapacity means the ZUJ members will not be able to report for duty until their grievances are addressed, the union said.
“…salary increase to at least US$550 per month for the least paid.
“Retooling of the newsroom to ensure they are adequately equipped for the job.
“Ensuring they have roadworthy and safe vehicles as they are deployed to cover their diaries,” he said.
The union also urged the oldest and arguably the country’s largest media house Zimpapers to seriously deal with the challenges reporters are facing.
The situation is further worsened by the economy that has virtually dollarised, making it difficult for those earning RTGS to make ends meet.
The union also called upon the Government, as well as the stakeholders, to intervene and help the struggling reporters.