12 February 2016

Zimbabwe: Gweru Council, Workers in Salary Cut Deadlock

Negotiations between city council workers and their employer over the latter's decision to unilaterally cut down salaries reached a deadlock after the parties failed to reach an agreement, Newzimbabwe.com has learnt.

In January this year, the provincial labour office encouraged the two warring parties to negotiate and reach an agreement over the issue. Unions had taken council to court contesting the decision to effect salary cuts citing breach of contract and a violation of the Labour Act.

The salary cuts were implemented starting with June salaries though the decision to do so was made in October 2014. June salaries were paid last November and that is when workers discovered the 50 percent reductions on their salaries.

When council and workers met last month the latter's representative, Zimbabwe Urban Council Workers Union general secretary, Moses Mahlangu, indicated that employees had a right to collective bargaining in matters affecting their working conditions.

"The right to collective bargaining is now a constitutional right under section 65 of the new constitution," Mahlangu said.

He said if the employer had any difficulties in paying salaries the issue should be discussed at works council level.

Mahlangu said section 12 of the Labour Act was clear on what should be done when the employer is facing a challenge in paying salaries.

"Moreover section 75 also requires that the employer fully disclose the financial situation," he said.


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