4 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Labour Dispute Rocks City Parking Firm

Fired EasiPark workers are discouraging Harare motorists from paying parking fees to the company's new marshals. They are accusing the company's management of abusing parking fees. The impasse costs EasiPark in excess of US$6 000 a day in revenue.

This has also seen a new parking management company, City Parking, joining the fray yesterday, effectively bringing two parking management companies in the city.

EasiPark workers are on strike protesting against the dismissal of 40 employees accused of under performance.

The workers were accused of cashing in less than the US$291 salary they are entitled to.

Sources yesterday said the employees were cashing in on average US$104 per month while the highest performers cash in as much as US$1 300 per month.

The 40 include the workers' committee chairman Mr Jaison Kautsa, his deputy and a committee member.

Mr Kautsa yesterday said: "Motorists should not pay parking fees to EasiPark marshals. We will advise as to when they should start paying for their parking."

He alleged that EasiPark workers were not on medical aid while they did not have protective clothing like raincoats or umbrellas.

He accused the company of failing to remit NSSA funds.

"We have since realised that all employees are not registered with NSSA."

The employees also claimed that women would have their contracts terminated when they go on maternity leave.

The dismissed employees yesterday blocked the deployment of parking marshals giving motorists' free parking for the day.

They demanded the dismissal of EasiPark general manager Mr Pegias Dube.

Mr Dube confirmed terminating contracts for the 40 employees.

He has since employed 60 other marshals to replace those fired and some who had left employment through death.

"I decided to go ahead with recruitment because the arbitration case is a shareholder issue which has nothing to do with the management of the company," he said.

Among his new recruits are former informal parking marshals.

He said the deployment of the new staffers boosted the company's revenue collections from an average US$2 700 to about US$6 000 a day.

He said the sudden jump in revenue collection implies that the marshals were stealing from the company.

EasiPark management committee chairman Mr Alois Masepe said he was not aware of the labour dispute at EasiPark as he not been "officially" informed.

"The matter never came to my attention and it was never sanctioned," he said.

Mr Masepe said should there be any labour disputes the law must be allowed to take its course.

He confirmed that City Parking started operating on Wednesday.

The company has employed 150 workers who have been deployed in the western, southwestern and northwestern part of the city.

The marshals had assumed their duties since Wednesday.

The company also charges a US$1 for an hour's parking.

Mr Masepe denied that his position at City Parking was conflicting with his role at EasiPark.

He said City Parking was formed in response to the failure by EasiPark to fulfil its mandate.

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