Lion Match workers, who have gone for close to two years without salaries, have camped at the company’s premises demanding their pay.
When NewsDay visited the company premises last week, the workers, most of whom had travelled from their rural homes, had besieged the company where some of them have camped since last Tuesday.
Angry workers said it was time the company’s management came out in the open and dealt with their outstanding salaries issue once and for all.
Workers committee spokesperson, Barney Chaparangana, said their patience had run out adding:
“We have decided to camp here until something is done.
It’s a matter of desperation.
We have been kicked out of our lodgings because we are no longer able to pay rent.
We want to show the world how desperate our case has become.”
More than 170 workers have been struggling to get money from the company since last year.
Managers at the company have been giving conflicting statements over the issue.
Early this year, the workers took the company to the labour court and won their case but have not received anything since then.
The arbitration ruling ordered the company to pay the workers’ salaries and allowances for 2010.
Problems at the company began last year following a failed company takeover bid by the firm’s managing director, Lovemore Mandimika. Mandimika allegedly tried to elbow out the Nigerian owners of the company but failed, resulting in them holding back on investment.
Although Mandimika’s whereabouts are now unknown, the last time NewsDay spoke to him he said:
“The workers have taken us to court so I cannot comment on a issue before the courts.”
Managers are believed to have awarded themselves outstanding salaries, company vehicles and machinery without making good on workers’ salaries.
The arbitrator’s ruling in favour of workers was passed on April 23, but four months down the line, workers have still not been paid.
“In the event that the respondent fails to comply, the claimants are granted leave to compose the outstanding salaries/wages and benefits due to the Magistrates’ Court or High Court,” read part of the ruling.
Affirmative Action Group president, Supa Mandiwanzira said his organisation would intervene in the saga as the company was a typical candidate for indigenisation.
The company is a household name in Africa with bases in Tanzania and Nigeria. However, it has ceased operations in Zimbabwe for unspecified reasons.