Sukoluhle Ndlovu, Midlands Correspondent
GWERU City Council workers have embarked on a strike after salary negotiations between their representatives and their employer collapsed.
The two parties had been locked in negotiations since last Tuesday, and a deal could not be reached until Thursday when the workers embarked on the industrial action, that has crippled most services in the city.
Zimbabwe Urban and Rural Councils Workers Union secretary-general Mr Kudakwashe Munengiwa confirmed the development saying workers were incapacitated to report for duty.
“Gweru City workers have resolved to engage in a job action after the employer which is Gweru Council failed to listen to their concerns of a salary hike. The workers have engaged the council several times but nothing has come to fruition,” said Mr Munengiwa.
He said they wanted the council to adopt a salary structure in line with what is contained in the 2021 budget.
“We are demanding that the council pay its workers a salary that is in line with what is stated on this year’s budget which was implemented in January. Failure to do that, the workers will not report for duty as they do not have the money to do so,” he said.
The workers had issued a 14-day notice of strike which expired on Tuesday night. Meanwhile, the Gweru City Council has warned that it will withdraw salaries of workers who go on strike. In a letter addressed to the Zimbabwe Urban and Rural Council Workers Union, acting Town Clerk Mr Vakai Chikwekwe said the council will revert to old salaries.
“If workers do not accept the new salary offer, the council will be forced to revert to the salary level of March 2021.
The council has made significant strides to raise the basic salary of the lowest-paid employee from $6 050 to $10 000,” said Mr Chikwekwe.
However, the workers, through their representatives rejected the new salary offer. — @sukusinini.