HUNDREDS of former Ziscosteel workers have vowed to sleep at the company’s main gate until they are paid their outstanding salaries and terminal benefits.
Source: Former Ziscosteel workers stage sleep-in – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 9, 2017
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
The former workers converged at the main gate in Redcliff yesterday morning vowing to stay put until the government, the major shareholder, pays them their dues.
Interim workers’ leader Kasirai Gwandida confirmed the standoff, saying his colleagues were demanding what was legally theirs. He said the workers were now tired of being “lied to” allegedly by Ziscosteel chairperson Nyasha Makuvise.
“We have not received our terminal benefits, no pensions and our outstanding salaries and wages have been forgotten,” Gwandida said.
“People are being evicted from their accommodation owing to non-payment of rentals. Our children are no longer going to school and our fellow comrades are failing to receive medical attention because they can’t pay for it and hence are dying at home. We can’t afford to stand idle and watch.”
Gwandida said for the next three days, the former workers would be camped at Ziscosteel to force government to give them their dues, threatening to extend the sleep-in if their demands are not met within the next three days.
Makuvise said he was not aware of the developments at Ziscosteel, promising to check with management and give an appropriate response.
He was also not sure about how Ziscosteel management proposed to deal with the outstanding salaries and packages.
“Give me time to check for you then I can get back to you, I will call you once I have the information,” he said.
Ziscosteel fired all its workers last year on a day’s notice after the $750 million takeover deal with Essar Africa Holdings crumbled.
Nearly 2 000 workers, who are owed in excess of three years’ salaries, were sent home empty-handed.
Only 150 employees, who include the full complement of managers from the chief executive officer, retained their jobs and report for work daily at the dormant iron and steel manufacturing plant.