Out of pocket Mutare workers have told how their employer ruined their Christmas – instead of receiving their wages they were given wooden doors.
“We were shocked when management offered us doors instead of our December salaries,” said a Pine Products’ employee who requested anonymity.
Pine Products is a subsidiary of Adam Bede Holdings Limited.
The lowest paid workers at the cash-strapped timber company earn an average of $140.
“In November, instead of getting a full salary we were all given a flat $50 regardless of our position and they promised to pay us the balances in due course,” said a disgruntled door-maker.
“We were told that the company had no money so if we wanted we could get doors to top up the November and the December salaries.”
Workers that did not manage to sell their doors endured a very miserable Christmas. All they could do was stare at the wooden doors staked at their houses. They didn’t even get bonuses.
The doors, which were valued at $21, proved difficult to sell.
Some desperate workers ended up selling their doors below cost.
Workers at the Mutare timber plant who turned down the offer were yet to be paid.
The shocking state of affairs was this week confirmed by Kuda Kapurura the Pine Products managing director.
Kapurura said: “Yes, our workers were paid both in cash and in kind in December.”
“We value them (workers) highly and we would not want to lose this critical resource while we are restructuring our business to restore viability.
“It is in this light that the company will take all necessary steps to look after the welfare of its employees.”
Kapurura did not say whether the practice of paying workers with doors would continue.