24 May 2012

Zimbabwe: Cede Part of Stake to Workers, Insurance Firms Urged

THE Insurance Employees' Union of Zimbabwe has joined Government's empowerment drive by calling on insurance companies to cede part of their shareholding to their employees. In terms of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act, all foreign companies operating in the country are required to cede at least 51 percent of their equity to indigenous Zimbabweans.

The call for compliance by foreign-owned insurance companies came during a workshop hosted by the IEUZ last week.

The workshop was aimed at equipping local insurance companies with respect to the latest global trends for the industry.

IEUZ secretary-general Mr Moses Hunga said in wage negotiations for the insurance sector commence next month the insurance firms should also consider giving part of their equity to their employees.

"They can take a leaf out of the example set by Old Mutual," he said.

Old Mutual is one of the foreign-owned insurance firms whose employee share ownership scheme has been approved by the Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment.

Meanwhile, Mr Hunga said the IEUZ was actively working to improve working conditions for the sector.

"The IEUZ wants to put sanity back in world of insurance and this trade union has a basic plan that is going to be beneficial to all parties in the industry," he said.

The workshop educated and trained insurance employees on themes such as capacity development, trade unionism in the insurance sector, labour law, presentation of grievances and bargaining skills among other topics.

It also created awareness among participants on trade union roles and operations.

Participants at the workshop were alerted on the importance of being a trade union member, the trade union's functions and its value.

The IEUZ will today be hosting a similar workshop in Bulawayo.

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