KWEKWE — Troubled Zimbabwe Mining and Alloy Smelting Company (Zimasco) has put its over 3 000 workforce on compulsory leave on a rotational basis in an effort to streamline its wage bill and operational expenses.
Report by Blessed Mhlanga Staff Reporter
The workers, who will now report to work two weeks a month depending on their departments’ needs, will have their salary cut by 50%. All other benefits remain unchanged.
According to a letter dated October 2 2012 and signed by Kwekwe division general manager Blessing Chitambira, the compulsory leave order would remain in force until the end of next year.
“This follows the closure of Furnaces 1 and 4 on the company’s west plant resulting in some positions becoming redundant or excess to requirement. The compulsory leave arrangement is expected to remain in place up to the end of 2013,” Chitambira’s letter read in part.
“However, the situation will continue to be monitored and adjustments made as necessary. Benefits such as medical, funeral and education assistance (where applicable) will continue to be paid for, and accessed as normal.”
Yesterday, angry employees who spoke to NewsDay accused management of targeting the lower level grades instead of reducing salaries of the top management.
They alleged that senior managers were pampered with top-of-the-range luxury cars and allowances.
“Our company has over 24 general managers, a host of unneeded engineers whose hefty perks are pushing the cost of production up. Their children are sent to very expensive private schools where fees are over $1 500 a term yet they want to cut my salary of $600 by half while maintaining those perks,” said a disgruntled worker who declined to be named for fear of victimisation.
The workers’ union at the company is in disarray after Zimasco fired most of the union’s leadership following a month-long crippling strike at the Kwekwe plant two years ago.
Group marketing general manager Clara Sadomba and Chief executive officer Josphat Zvaipa had not yet responded to written questions sent to them at their request on Monday at the time of going to print yesterday.
Zimasco is blighted by huge debts running into millions of dollars owed to major suppliers, Kwekwe City Council and Zesa, among others.