Bata recalls retrenched workers

Source: Bata recalls retrenched workers -Newsday Zimbabwe

BATA Shoe Company has ordered its former employees to return to work after failing to pay them their retrenchment packages.

Over 106 employees were laid off in November last year without notice and the company had pledged to pay them their severance packages within weeks.



However, after failing to meet its end of the bargain, the company has since made a U-turn to reportedly avoid being dragged to court.

The workers have been receiving letters instructing them to resume their duties starting this month, NewsDay has learnt.

According to sources, the retrenched employees who served for 10 to 15 years are owed US$15 000, with those who served for more than 15 expecting US$20 000.

“The affected workers are now facing the distressing prospect of resuming work without the pension benefits they had rightfully earned over the past 15 to 20 years. The letter did not state much, it just indicated that they should be back at work starting March 11,” a source said.



“Those who are desperate for the job have started working, while some chose to ignore the letter. These are actually red flags that the company cannot afford to pay its employees’ pension money.”

Another retrenchee, who identified himself as Nyamugama, said they were laid off without any notice.


“We were kicked out without our packages after working for more than 10 years. The retrenchment was done in a hurried manner,” he said.



“There was a lack of proper notification regarding the exercise last year. We were heading towards the festive season, we had nowhere to start from.”

Efforts to get a comment from Bata country manager Simon Mutisya were fruitless as his phone went unanswered.

Last year, Mutisya said the shoe company was failing to maintain the 1 200 strong workforce.

Mutsiya also said the company was finding it difficult to resume operations in some sections which were gutted by fire, resulting in the retrenchments.

Bata has also been facing stiff competition from second-hand and other imported shoe brands which have flooded the country’s streets.

Ordinary Zimbabweans now prefer the cheap imports, which are priced between US$2 and US$20.