13 09 2007

On Tuesday afternoon I spent an hour with the labour discussing wage issues. Not surprisingly they wanted more and not surprisingly we resolved nothing; I am not allowed to increase prices so how can I pay them more? So, it came as something of a shock yesterday when a customer asked me if I’d heard anything about the new wage increases. I phoned up the NEC (National Employment Council) who arbitrates wage issues and yes, wages had increased, by 767%! Now I have yet to sit down at a computer and check it all out but I’m pretty sure we cannot absorb that and continue to operate. I can go to the Price Control Commission and apply to be allowed to increase my prices but as my book keeper pointed out, do I really want to draw attention to myself? Will they PCC be quick enough, even if they do approve an increase, to save us? The only thing in our favour is that the increase is not actually 767% for us as we were paying five times the official wage anyway, but in the same time frame I have only put up our prices 20%. I know that other businesses are putting up prices in defiance of the law and just hoping for the best but I’m not sure if I want to chance a 6 month jail term as I deal quite a lot with Joe Public and it just takes one to complain…

A customer came in last week and bought 30 hybrid cabbage seedlings, 20 brinjals (open pollinated) and 10 tomato seedlings (open pollinated). Total cost; less than US$1.



One response

13 09 2007
Big Blister

Very scary. Can you operate a la bus ticket? Please stay out of jail…

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