A wages settlement survey condu-cted by the Federation of Swaziland Employers and Chamber of Commerce (FSE&CC) shows that the sugar sector is one of the best performers when it comes to average wages settlement.

The survey shows that the sugar sector on average would pay 8.3 per cent as wages increment.

This is much higher than parasta-tals who would, on average pay 1.9 per cent.

The sugar industry, according to the survey report is influenced by factors, which include affordability, competitiveness, production and sustainability while parastatals are guided by the inflation rate and the Public Enterprise Unit (PEU).

The hotel and catering industry also proved its upper side as it averaged eight per cent, which is much higher than the financial services sector which averaged 4.6 per cent.

The hotel and catering industry is mainly guided by the inflation rate, same with the financial services sector.

"Parastatals are the worst industry followed by building and constru-ction. Hotel and catering, sugar, motor engineering and retail are among those that performed well," reads the report in part.

According to the survey it can be revealed that overall, companies have performed better than in the past year, although there are some sectors which have declined.

The report singles out building and construction and parastatals as the worst performers in the past year.

"Major improvements were seen among the agricultural, financial services, hotel and catering and the sugar industry. It should be noted that the sugar industry is currently the highest and most stable sector, taking over from the retail sector. The reason for this could be due to the fact the sugar industry has been doing well, since it is Swaziland’s most reliable export, hence the stability, while with the current fiscal crisis, it has been reported that sales have dropped in the retail sector, which could be the reason why this sector has seen a major dive," partly reads the report.

The report further reads that the hotel and catering sector has seen the least variation in its wages increment in the past three years, while all the other sectors in the survey have seen drastic variations in the periods under review.

The FSE&CC has recommended that as companies prepare for wage negotiations, it is very important that they gather all relevant infor-mation, which will impact on overall strategy, simplify the collective bargaining process and avoid unnecessary delays.

"The Wage Settlement Survey has since proved to be a reliable and accurate economic marker utilised by companies, hence it is very important that companies continue considering the survey results so as to make considerable and market related justification of wage settlements.

Furthermore, it is also very important to point out that companies need to counter unrea-sonable demands by workers’ unions and arrive at an optimum settlement outcome based on current trends, which will be viable to continue doing business," the report reads further.

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