Harare workers threaten strike
28 November 2016
Harare workers have threatened to strike over their ‘stolen’ bonuses and wages.
Failure to pay salaries for Grades 16-5 within 14 working days from the date of the letter the workers have said they will go on strike.
In their letter of final demand, signed by Harare Municipal Workers Union executive chairman Cosmas Bungu, the workers said they are “no longer amused” by the failure to have their demands met.
“The situation has been and continues unabated courtesy of an Employer who has proven beyond reasonable doubt to be parasitic and despotic as the Employer preys on the welfare of its employees.
“This continued behaviour of stealing employees’ petty wages has been and is still in flagrant breach and violation of Section 6 of the Labour Act (Chapter 28:01).
“The City Harare has been callous in its commitment or non-commitment to its obligation of paying agreed salaries to its employees not later than the 28th of each and every month in terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement S.I 135/12.
“This finds expression in the embarrassing revelation from the recent audit done for the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing by the Auditor General,” said Bungu.
The workers also said that the report by the Local Government Ministry had exposed the rot which at Town House adding that attaining a world class city by 2025 is but just a mere euphemism.
“If the truth is to be said and if the truth is to set us free, we demand answers to some pertinent questions that are constantly being asked by the City employees but whose answers remain elusive.
“Your employees would be grateful if you could provide answers as to why would a City that is not paying salaries for the past five-six (5-6) months to the generality of its employees in grades (5-16) have the audacity of having more than US$1, 4 million being allegedly garnished from its bank account by ZIMRA yet its employees are wallowing in abject poverty.? Why would a City and Employer that has been riding on free labour for the past five months been unable to improve or turn around the City and improve service delivery within the City?
“Why would a City Council with a financially ailing organisation have the temerity of paying the Executives more than what was gazetted by its own Government and allegedly go on to award the same Executives hefty educational loans, it’s given for the City of Harare and Employer to facilitate these payments to the Executive payroll is clear testimony that it has the financial backbone to also meet the general payroll need since these resources are coming from the same City of Harare budget albeit the practice of social injustice between the two payrolls i.e. Executive Payroll and general payroll by the Employer, this against the dictates of social justice and democracy at the workplace in terms of the rule of law.?”
“All these questions demand answers if harmony is to be restored in the City. Otherwise your ever loyal employees have been pushed beyond the elastic limit and their tolerance limit has been perilously pushed to exceed to an extent that it has reached the plastic limit. Anytime from now expect an explosion if not an implosion can occur due to these illegal injustices on social justice and democracy at the Work place in terms of the Law, where the Employer has proven beyond reasonable doubt that he doesn’t give a hoot about social justice although he “CLAIMS” to have been out of it,” read part of the letter.
The workers said they have been failing to provide for their families for many months now, adding that they have many unfulfilled promises.