Power Sales management and workers in redudance stand-off

Spread the love

A GROUP of workers from retail clothing chain, Power Sales, yesterday besieged the company’s Belmont factory in Bulawayo in protest after being served with retrenchment notices reportedly without clarity on their benefits.

Some of the disgruntled workers reportedly spent Wednesday night at the factory demanding to meet management for an explanation over their grievances.

A Chronicle news crew visited the company yesterday morning and found the workers milling around the locked factory premises while others arrived and joined their peers inside.

Power Sales workers’ committee members were barred from entering the factory while workers were being addressed by one of the senior officials whose name was not disclosed.

According to the workers’ committee, about 30 contract workers have received termination of contract letters without any notice. One of the disgruntled workers who is also a supervisor, Mr Malvin Chidziva, said they were shocked that management has treated them this way.

“We have gone for two months without pay and we slept here trying to make management understand our grievances but they seem to care less about our plight, so, we don’t know what to do,” he said.

“So far, they said we should come on Tuesday and we’re pinning our hopes on them, landlords are waiting for us as they want their rentals.”

The workers said they have not been paid full salaries since January and accused management of down-playing their plight. Only a paltry $160 000 and $270 000 for February was paid, which is insignificant in US dollar terms, they said.

Secretary-general for the Clothing Sector Workers’ Committee, Mr Prince Nyoni, said the working conditions at Power Sales had become pathetic.

“It’s pathetic that employees are into the second month without getting their salaries. We spoke to management about this and they say they don’t have enough funds to fully pay workers but give them in bits and pieces,” he said.

“Management promised to pay workers the RTGS component yesterday and according to our clothing circular, we agreed that the RTGS component for the salary should be 25 percent paid according to the prevailing exchange rates and the 75 percent should be United States dollars.”

Mr Nyoni said workers were in a desperate situation as they could not pay rentals, or buy food for their families. He said they will be taking the matter to the National Employees’ Council (NEC) for further assistance.

In solidarity with the clothing industry workers committee, the Private Security Workers Union general secretary Mr John Manyuchi said Power Sales management should attend to workers’ grievances.

Efforts to get a comment from Power Sales director, Mr Fanuel Mahachi, were fruitless as he did not answer his phone while officials at the factory were not keen to engage with the media.