Chitungwiza suspends 200 workers

HARARE - Chitungwiza Municipality has suspended over 200 workers for being absent from duty without authority, as well as inciting others to embark on an illegal strike.

The strike was held last month.

Earnest Chikwaro, the acting secretary of the Zimbabwe Urban Council Workers Union (ZUCWU), yesterday told the Daily News that the city fathers were still processing hundreds more of suspension letters for other employees who participated in the strike between July 4 and 10.

About six ZUCWU leaders who include Miriam Chitsa (deputy president), Ephraim Katsina (branch chairperson), Tenson Bamusi (branch secretary), Peter Kapamba, Frank Machingura and Israel Bako, who are both  committee members, were the first to be suspended for leading the strike.

In what the employees have described as a pre-emptive strike that is meant to cow them from unfurling a fresh strike, the council has now issued suspension letters to 204 others.

“Yesterday, 104 workers were suspended and today, I also received a suspension letter along with almost 90 others minus the   six union leaders,” said Chikwaro.

The workers have not been paid salaries for more than a year.

They said they would not be deterred by the dismissals.

“The workplace will certainly be ungovernable because even if we were to assume that all the workers had deliberately not reported for duty, it did not warrant suspension if labour laws are properly followed,” Chikwaro said.

He said it was unheard of for an employer to suspend a worker for demanding payment of an overdue salary.

George Makunde, the town clerk, said he had no idea how many had been suspended.

Last month, Chitungwiza workers withdrew their labour over unpaid salaries, but were ordered to halt the action after they were issued with a show cause order by Labour minister Nicholas Goche.

An attempt by the employees to nullify the order was quashed by High Court judge Justice David Mangota.

The Labour Court has ruled in favour of the workers after they successfully argued that the show cause order was null and void as it had been issued after the strike had stopped.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has since denounced the suspension of the employees and their leaders describing the move as a clear case of victimisation.

Comments (1)

vanhu ngavabhadhare ziya ravo tapota. imi vakuru muri kudya muchiguta vadiki vachirara nenzara. mhata dzamai venyu

EDDIE - 21 August 2014

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