Workers picket rubber products

BULAWAYO - Hundreds of workers at Rubber Products Limited who have been asked to take an early Christmas break after going for months without pay are picketing company properties demanding payment of outstanding wages.

The workers complained that while company directors and their families enjoyed affluent lives, workers cannot even pay school fees for their children, pay rent or buy food and face a bleak festive season.

When approached by the Daily News, the angry mob chorused a sad story.

“We have not been paid for 18 months,” one worker said.

“In the past our employer used to pay us a petite $50 after six months.  Our employers used to pledge that they would  to pay us. But now our children are no longer in school, we do not have money to pay for rent and to buy food but they are living large.”

Last week, the company asked its workers to take an early Christmas break but its workforce has since gone on to stage demonstrations.

“They said we should go home last week but we are not leaving until they give us the money that we have been working for since we are uncertain whether the company will open next year.

Some of the workers charged that company directors claimed they would remain behind looking for money to pay them but workers were adamant.

“We want to show them that we are not children,” they said.

The workers said they had taken the matter to the Labour Court but their efforts had been fruitless as the court deemed it as not requiring urgent attention because the respondents contested the allegations.

“We have been to the Labour court before but the matter is still pending and they lied that they pay us when in actual fact they do not,” the workforce said.

Workers also claimed the board of directors decided to form another company from a profit-making department at Rubber Product at the expense of neglected employees.

They said company directors formed another company called Awaited Investment when they had realised the department had been generating more profit than Rubber Products.

When Daily News sought for comment, company directors assigned a security guard to inform the paper that they did have a comment to make on the worker’s allegations.

Workers however, said management’s refusal to talk was a sign they are hiding something.

“They are hiding a lot that is why they do not want to talk to you and there are answers they do not have,” they said.

Comments (6)

Its such times as this that workers the world over forget that the brooke runs dry in companies. The reality of things is that no company has ever paid enough to sustain a life time, but enough to give someone a start to seek to attain a liveljihood. Unfortunately most of us learn too late. We spend our lives chasing shadows believeing that the employer will see us through, they never do infact, they are using you to get what is their livelihood and when they are done and you are all dog weary and ready to die, they cease to pay you the little you have worked for in order fast track your end through stress. Its not late guys, grab a piece of land, leave the towns where lives are owned and own your own lives! Its the truth even the bosses with huge factories own land which they call their own. The factories will be gone but the land never!

The councellor - 28 November 2013

@the councellor- Why not close all universities and polytechnics and herd everyone into these farms? Why bother to train as a doctor, a lawyer, a mechanic when the good councellor has the answer to all our problems: Going back to the stone age? By the way perhaps councellor will tell us about this Utopia where every man, woman and child is a farmer..Even in biblical times others were carpenters, fishermen and so one wonders what this genius demi-god is going with this.

gutter poet - 28 November 2013

We are killing each other. We are destroying the economy. We should pay workers. Why are the directors are not paying workers. Its now a trend in business. Unpaid leave, retrenchment, down sizing. It pains, our directors are not well versed when it comes to managing companies or its the other way round. The company have been operating for almost 20 to 30 years but everyone was getting paid now that we are managing we try to change for the worst and making workers suffer. But Why? Why? Why? Shame! Shame! Shame!

hardlife - 28 November 2013

This problem has become a cancer in zim. It's mostly the connected and the corrupt that have no mercy for their exploited bros. It high gov did something about this disease. you some such companies sponsering sport or political events at the worker's peril. What a wreched country.

off topic - 28 November 2013

They said company directors formed another company called Awaited Investment when they had realised the department had been generating more profit than Rubber Products.Shame Shame Shame Mr Magoma ex Minister MDC is also a director and a priset Mr Nhira fundisi pay workers

Zim Kid - 29 November 2013

I fail to understand what will be happening at the company because the workers woould have worked to produce goods that are then sold to make money for salaries and raw materials . If this is not happening why not just close because there is no viability. The company wants to break early so as to bring early misery to the workers.

Jaku - 29 November 2013

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