Zesa workers give notice to strike

via Zesa workers give notice to strike August 20, 2014 by Christopher Mahove

WORKERS in the country’s energy sector have given a seven-day notice of their intention to go on strike to force their employers into wage negotiations for 2014.

The workers, the bulk of whom are employed by Zesa Holdings and its subsidiaries, wrote to the Energy Employers’ Association on August 18 through the National Energy Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (NEWUZ) and the Zimbabwe Energy Workers’ Union (ZEWU), giving a seven-day notice to strike.

“The grounds for the intended action are as follows: The employers have blatantly refused to engage in Collective Bargaining negotiations for 2014 in respect of wages and other ancillary matters.

The reasons being given by the employers are insipid, not cogent and invalid,” read part of the letter, signed by the general-secretaries of the two unions and copied to the National Employment Council for the Energy Sector.

Thomas Masvingwe, the general secretary of NEWUZ, warned yesterday that there was going to be a total shutdown as the strike would be held in terms of Section 65 of the new Constitution, thereby making the issuing of a show cause order stopping the strike unlawful.

“The intended job action is clearly distinguishable from all actions which have been held in Zimbabwe in that it is being held in terms of the Constitution, which makes our right to strike absolute, and not the Labour Act,” Masvingwe said.

“We have given the notice at common law and in our view, a show cause order is not applicable. This strike, if started, will pursue until the case reaches its finality. Sections 104 to 107 of the Labour Act have been made redundant in light of the provisions of the new Constitution.”

Masvingwe said any attempt by the employers to invoke the said sections of the Labour Act would be ultra vires the Constitution.

“I am warning the employers that this is not going to be a tea-party. It is going to be the mother of all strikes that we have had and everything will ground to a halt. They cannot continue to take workers for a ride,” he said.
Masvingwe said the employers were back-tracking on collective bargaining after both parties had already set the ground rules and were shifting goal posts.

“At some point, they were saying they were unable to proceed with collective bargaining because they lacked the mandate as they did not have boards of directors, but as unions, we contended that was invalid as they were legal personae who could continue with business in the absence of the boards,” he said.

Efforts to get comment from Zesa spokesperson Fullard Gwasira were fruitless as his mobile number went unanswered, while his personal assistant Angeline Chigariro said her boss would call back, which he never did until the time of going to print last night.

Zesa assistant spokesperson Shepherd Mandizvidza was said to be out of office.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 6
  • comment-avatar
    macemike 7 years ago

    you useless trade unions!!!

  • comment-avatar
    avenger/revenger 7 years ago

    Who cares. There is no electricity anyway. Certainly no u.s. greenbacks to pay a lazy zpf connected work ‘force ‘

  • comment-avatar
    John Thomas 7 years ago

    Will we notice the difference between them working and striking? This will be interesting

  • comment-avatar

    Just send 2 ZRP officers and fear will overcome them and they will run back to work.the zim way

  • comment-avatar
    Rwendo 7 years ago

    Does a Zesa strike mean a cessation of maintenance work and no response to faults? Or will it mean sabotage by actively switching off power?

    If it means the latter i.e. ‘over-enthusiastic load shedding,’ will this embrace the several sections of the northern suburbs that are always spared load shedding because of what Zesa phone operators call ‘security’ concerns (for which read power lines to neighborhoods with residences of selected government and military chefs)?

    If they want quick results (but probable imprisonment of the union leaders) they should consider comprehensive action. Let the chefs taste our daily bread.

  • comment-avatar
    nyoni 7 years ago

    Wish Mugabe had a pacemaker now! The strike would be great even if I cook outside again.