14 March 2014

Zimbabwe: Retrenchments Get Worse

MASSIVE retrenchments are looming on the horizon according to applications made recently to the Retrenchment Board, businessdigest has established.

Sources said more than 1 500 workers could find themselves on the streets if applications before the board are approved.

Insiders said that among the submissions made to the board, Chitungwiza City Council applied to retrench 968 workers.

TN Securities has applied to shed 84 employees, Zimasco is looking to offload 229 workers , while Willowvale Mazda is seeking approval to retrench 101 employees, sources said.

The board, sources added, last month alone approved the retrenchment of 295 workers as the economy continues to implode characterised by a debilitating liquidity crunch.

National Social Security Authority (Nssa) Harare Regional Employer Closures and Registrations Report for the period July 2011 to July 2013 revealed 711 companies in Harare closed down, rendering 8 336 individuals jobless.

ZCTU secretary general Japhet Moyo said there was need for the government to improve the country's credit risk if there is to be investment to resuscitate the comatose economy which has rendered more than 80% of the country unemployed.

He also said the union had written to Labour minister Nicholas Goche and President Robert Mugabe expressing concern over Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa's proposals to make changes to the labour laws to make the process of dismissing employees easier. Chinamasa made the proposals when he presented the 2014 national budget in December last year.

Moyo said they had held a meeting with the Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe (Emcoz) where they expressed their disappointment over the meeting the employer's body had with National Employment Councils in Victoria Falls which excluded them.

He said it was "improper" that a meeting had been held on the issue of productivity based wages, something which they disagree, without the union's input. Moyo added they were "speaking in different languages" when it came to the issue of productivity and wages.

Moyo said ZCTU and Emcoz had agreed to hold a bipartite meeting to discuss various issues and try to find common ground.

"We need to put everything in a basket and look at issues broadly and not on a particular concept," Moyo said.

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