Easipark workers strike

HARARE - Harare's parking business Easipark is battling a potentially crippling workers’ strike over contract renewal and salary issues.

The workers, close to a hundred, took to the streets yesterday accusing Easipark of not following proper procedure in terminating their contracts and also short-changing them on salaries and commission.

Easipark is a joint venture business between Harare City Council (HCC) and South Africa-based Easihold.

“We reported for duty today only to be given dismissal letters. This was after the management had tasked us to train newly recruited staff, which apparently they now want to replace us. Though our contracts expired in November 2012, they automatically continue if not terminated officially,” said one disgruntled parking marshal who preferred anonymity.

“The managers have also been paying us less than agreed salaries.”

Instead of paying a basic of $291 per month excluding commission, we were along being $239,” the worker said.

Easipark’s marshals are paid a 10 percent commission and they are each expected to cash in no less than $520 per month. In a memo to the marshals, Easipark’s administration and finance Manager Gadzamoyo Dewa told employees that there was no management committee approval to employ new people as claimed by general manager Pegias Dube, signalling internal disputes within the company.

“What is happening is being caused by the general manager and some belligerent councillors being used by Pegias Dube and his company Easihold Private to distort company information so as to loot and plunder,” Dewa said in the statement.

“All employees who have consistently served the company for a continuous service beyond the conditions of initial engagement stipulated on contract are now deemed to be employees on contract without limit of time or permanent employees,” Dewa further said.

The Businessdaily got in touch with Dube who said he had no comment as it was not his mandate to address press queries.

However, Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda said the workers’ concerns were being addressed.

“In the meantime, the employees should go back to work as Pegius Dube, the manager of our joint venture project…. seemed to have jumped the gun by taking precipitous action against certain employees without clearing the deck with us,” Masunda said.

Meanwhile, HCC recently resolved to terminate the joint venture agreement with Easihold on allegations of mistrust on the part of the South African firm. - Eric Chiriga and Ndakaziva Majaka

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