MAPUTO, The Mozambican government has announced increases in the statutory minimum wages ranging from 5.5 to 21 per cent, depending on the sector.

The new minimum wages arise out of the annual negotiations in the Labour Consultative Commission (CCT), the tripartite body involving the government, 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 too 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 covered 15 sectors and sub-sectors. The highest percentage rise of 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.