Workers confront management over salaries

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Marvo Stationery Suppliers workers in Bulawayo are up in arms with their management over the firm’s failure to pay them since dollarisation of the economy in 2009.

The company employs over 150 workers across the country.

Last Friday, the disgruntled workers besieged their management’s offices at Thorngroove industrial site demanding payment of their outstanding salaries but came back empty-handed after they were allegedly told the company was experiencing cash-flow problems.

Four of the employees, who were part of the group, have since been suspended on allegations of “hurling insults at the board of directors”.

A suspension letter, addressed to one of the four which is in NewsDay’s possession reads in part:

“Following events of last Friday (29/04/11) where you were part of the factory workforce which gathered at the entrance to the company premises waiting for the company board of directors who were holding their meeting
. . . you are therefore suspended from duty with immediate effect pending a hearing to be held on May 9 at Marvo boardroom”.

The charge on the suspension letter is, “the use of provocative and/or abusive language”.

On Wednesday, the workers told NewsDay they had not received full salaries since 2009. Efforts to get a comment from Marvo Stationery managing director Urayayi Mazengeza were fruitless as he was said to be out of office.

One of the employees said: “Since three years ago, we have never received full salaries. We sometimes get $50 per month depending on our grades.”

The workers said things were much better before the Zimbabwean economy was dollarised.

“At that time production was very poor, but they could pay us better than they are doing now. At the moment production is much better than before, but we are being paid in bits and pieces,” said the worker.