BY GARIKAI MAFIRAKUREVA
SUGAR industry employees are demanding an urgent National Employment Council (NEC) meeting to come up with new salary scales.
The Zimbabwe Sugar Milling Allied Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ZSMAWUZ) has since written to Clemence Muparutsa, the NEC secretary-general, demanding that new salary negotiations for the industry should take place as they were long overdue.
ZSMAWUZ is an affiliate of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions.
The letter, dated April 28, which was gleaned by NewsDay, was copied to the Zimbabwe Sugar Milling Industry Employers Association (ZSMIEA), the Sugar Production and Milling Workers Union, the principal labour officer in the Labour ministry, and the registrar of labour.
However, the workers did not copy the letter to Tongaat Hulett, which represents thousands of sugar industry workers and is the second largest employer with over 17 000 workers.
In the letter, the union said it was disheartening that some sugar industry workers were being retrenched and their benefits calculated using a 2019 collective bargaining template.
“We are deeply based on the last collective bargaining was concluded in April 2019 and to date employees have continued to be subjected to abject poverty. Those terminating employment are having their benefits calculated based on the last collective bargaining template and this is grossly unfair,” part of the letter read.
“We implore that you convene a special NEC meeting of all stakeholders cited in this communication to map out the modalities for engagement. The Zimbabwe Sugar Milling Industry Workers Union is non-existent as a party awaiting finalisation of the case before the courts and has been left out of this communication.
“We cannot watch industry workers being short-changed and we are calling for all stakeholders to be part of the solution to save workers. We anticipate hearing from you at your earliest possible time.”
Efforts to get a comment from Muparutsa on the matter were fruitless.