The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has launched an operation codenamed Bhadalani/Bhadharai in a bid to force companies in Bulawayo to pay workers their salaries and improve working conditions.
The operation comes amid reports some companies were failing to pay workers. ZCTU’s Western Region regional officer Percy Mcijo said the operation was launched recently and would continue as long as workers still faced problems with employers who were reluctant to adequately pay them.
The operation was also targeting employers who failed to follow proper health and safety measures.
“We are conducting this operation in collaboration with the ZCTU’s affiliate unions and our main thrust is to negotiate with employers and make them realise the importance of workers in their companies. We encourage the employers to pay workers accordingly,” said Mcijo.
He said as the year comes to an end workers continued to struggle for their salaries while some employees were working under unhealthy environments.
Mcijo said the labour union had discovered many employees in Bulawayo’s industrial sector had gone for over five months, in some instances, without being paid while some were receiving paltry salaries.
“Most employers do not give workers a platform to express their concerns and we approach the companies with the aim of providing workers with the opportunity to be heard by their employers through us.
We encourage the employers to pay their workers considering the fact that most of our members told us they have gone for months without pay. This operation will run as long as workers continue to experience problems with their employers,” said Mcijo.
He said so far the union had pounced on at least 10 firms.
“It is just unfortunate that some of the companies we visited had cases taken to the National Employment Council in their respective sectors after the contending parties failed to reach consensus. In such cases we had no power to reverse decisions but for cases that were not at NEC, we tried to persuade employers to promptly pay workers accordingly,” said Mcijo.
Mcijo could not give details of which companies have been visited so far but said the operation was still ongoing.