ZBC taken to task over pay cut

via ZBC taken to task over pay cut 05/10/2014

WORKERS at the state-controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) last week dragged their employer to court after the company unilaterally slashed their salaries in breach of the country’s labour laws.

The workers’ lawyer, Dumisani Mtombeni, from Matanga attorneys, delivered the summons on Thursday.

Mtombeni said the decision by ZBC to slash the workers’ salaries was one of unfair labour practices as described under Section 93 of the Labour Act (Chapter 28:01).

He said at the beginning of January this year, ZBC unilaterally and unlawfully slashed the workers’ salaries without first engaging them to seek their permission in contravention of Zimbabwe’s labour laws.

“We act for and on behalf of our named clients Cecil Chihuri and 464 others all of whom are ZBC (Pvt) (Ltd) employees whose names appear more fully on the schedule marked ‘A’ hereto: herein after referred to as the complainant. Kindly note our interest herein.

“Our clients advise that they have exhausted all domestic channels and remedies available to them in a futile bid to have their grievances addressed by their employer.

“Since January 2014 our clients have been receiving slashed salaries from Respondent (ZBC management), despite engagement and demand to restore our client’s salaries to what they were as at 31st December 2010,” read the papers.

A workers’ committee member who spoke to this publication said that soon after the summons were delivered the ZBC management called Mtombeni to discuss the issue outside the court process but he declined.

“He declined arguing that they ZBC management employed the same tactics whenever they hear anything to do with the courts,” said the source.

The summons has also been sent to Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services which oversees the ZBC.

Earlier this year, disillusioned workers engaged Information Minister Jonathan Moyo over the matter. Moyo categorically denied having a hand in the decision to slash their salaries. He blamed the ZBC management for the decision.

The management however rejected the charge arguing they received an instruction from Moyo to implement the controversial decision.

Before the salaries were slashed, ZBC’s salary bill stood at a staggering US$1.6 million against a generated revenue of $230 000 per month.

Following the salary cuts, ZBC senior reporters and producers now take home between $300 and $400 a month.

COMMENTS

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  • comment-avatar
    Angela Wigmore 8 years ago

    I know one can’t possibly equate today’s money with 25+ years ago but back then, when I was a part-time announcer at R/ZBC, I was happy to earn Z$3/hour for my shifts. The money, although certainly helpful, was not as important as the fact that I loved my job and felt proud and privileged to be part of an organisation that was professional and first-class. The rot started in 1980.