Meikles workers get ‘6 used plates’ as exit payouts

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MEIKLES Group of Companies has been accused of unfair labour practices after the firm reportedly gave each of its retrenched workers six used dinner plates as gratuity payouts after working for the company for several years, it has been learnt.

VENERANDA LANGA

Workers’ committee chairpersons for the group’s diverse portfolios made the disclosure when they appeared before the Parliamentary Thematic Committee on Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment chaired by Harare Metropolitan Senator Cleveria Chizema (Zanu PF).

They added that in some instances workers were given used hotel beds, television sets or even offered two or three-night free hotel accommodation with their spouses as gratuity.

The group runs Meikles Hotels, Meikles Stores, Tanganda Tea and TM Supermarkets.

The workers’ representatives added the John Moxon-led group misled government into believing that it had complied with the indigenisation policy by ceding 10% shares to workers.

“I was surprised when I heard retiring staff from Meikles [waiters] were given dinner plates and two or three nights at the hotel with their wives as pension,” Tanganda Tea Company workers’ committee chairperson Simon Madzivire said.

Meikles Hotels workers’ committee chairman Rodney Mutinhiri added: “They were given six plates and six jugs and one of them even broke his plates while jostling to get into a commuter omnibus at Charge Office bus terminus.

“Others even refused the offer to spend nights with their wives at the hotel saying it was an insult. The problem is that as Meikles Group of Companies we do not have a central workers’ council as each unit has its own workers’ council.”

Mutinhiri said workers were never given a chance to air their views on the company’s employee share ownership scheme where they were told they would get 10% shareholding.

“When the deed of trust was produced, workers were not consulted and a representative from the Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment ministry called Fungati was the one who was present. They said 60% of the trustees would come from employees while 40% would be derived from the company. Employees had no money and so for purposes of purchasing our shares they borrowed $1,4 million from our Old Mutual Pension Fund without consulting workers and to date that amount has accrued interest and is now $1,6 million. This has left us with no pensions,” he said.

He said workers bought eight million shares and Moxon told workers that government owed $97 million to Meikles which was being held at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. They claimed that Moxon said once that money was released they would settle the outstanding balance of purchase of workers’ shares.

But the workers felt shortchanged in the share deal as it would take them up to 50 years to start declaring dividends on their shares after management told them they would get their shares once the shares were fully paid up and share certificates issued.

TM Supermarkets workers’ committee chairman David Tunhira said the group recently published a profit of $37 million but there was no declaration of dividends to shareholders.

“It is clear that there is dilly dallying, delaying tactics and prohibitive measures to ensure workers do not benefit,” Tunhira said.

He added: “There are weaknesses in government follow-up measures to find out if the company is complying and if workers are benefiting and we want Parliament to help us on that. Workers are harassed and if one does a slight mistake they are dismissed because it is easy to replace a worker. There is too much contracting of jobs to make it easier to fire an employee.”

15 COMMENTS

  1. dinner plates and rooms to sleep as gratuity…. i suggest the worker move in permanently into these rooms with their families as a sign of protest its absolute rubbish.

    • I doubt very much that this article is true or has any substance. I find it very hard to believe anything that the staff say. You can never trust workers who are retrenched they talk so much crap and bark up the wrong tree. I once worked for a really good company. Because of a few evil staff they started demanding money and toy toying around the owner’s car and wouldn’t allow customers to enter the gate, The staff would go to ZIMRA and Nekki etc etc on false charges of what the company was suppose to be doing. This intimidation and thuggery carried on for long. Eventually the owner had no choice but to liquidated as they made his life hell. We use to get groceries for free + salaries, but a couple of staff were too greedy and decided they wanted to take the company over for themselves.. We all lost our jobs and then union and labor started. A package was arranged and union had a big fat table waiting for their 45% from each staff. Some staff were running away from the toilet windows and a union guy was waiting outside the toilet grabbing the money. Staff came out with nothing much. When you are ungrateful and don’t appreciate your livelyhood that is what happens. A few staff can make the whole company shut down due to greed and intimidation. Today I laugh as I see the staff begging on the streets. I think those plates were given as a gift and not part of the package Big liars and ungrateful.

    • My grandfather worked for Mangula mine for thirty years and lost his pension after the economy collapsed in part due to land reform, corruption and incompetent greedy people in the government.

      Sad situation in the country.

      In this situation I think these were temporary, seasonal workers and had not been with the company long and this story seems FALSE.

    • ᴀs Jᴜᴀɴɪᴛᴀ sᴀɪᴅ I ᴅɪᴅɴᴛ ᴋɴᴏᴡ ᴛʜᴀᴛ sᴏᴍᴇ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ᴄᴀɴ ᴍᴀᴋᴇ $8016 ɪɴ ᴀ ғᴇᴡ ᴡᴇᴇᴋs ᴏɴ ᴛʜᴇ ᴄᴏᴍᴘᴜᴛᴇʀ . ᴠɪsɪᴛ ᴛʜɪs ᴡᴇʙsɪᴛᴇ :

      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> B­­­O­­­N­­G­­O­­­C­­­A­­S­­H­­­­.C­­­O­­­M­­­

  2. This is the problem with this place. You expect constantly, you think it is your right and you demand. In the rest of the world ( where the economy flourishes ) people are hired and fired in tune with the work. Not in Zimbabwe even if you catch a thief in your work force you have to pay him out! I know of companies that could employ more people but dont because of this backward way of doing things. In the rest of the world you get paid for what you work not claim is a right and I must have benefits etc etc for what? You got your wage!! The problem with the labor here is we think everything must be given to us and we must have these things no matter what even though it creates less jobs. We are born free so it doesnt matter if we starve!!!!

  3. At least Chiyangwa paid his ex-shoe employees with a pair of new shoes! And $1 and a packet of bananas for his other one…

    The funny thing is people accept these silly stupid payouts. I would move in permanently into this hotel. I will call my family to come join. Moxon is not God. He can be tamed and people should just learn to stand up to this barbaric animal.

    • It is people like Sirius who have destroyed the economy. You really believe this pathetic story of plates and hotel rooms . You must a a worker who got a whole company to close to satisfy your ego. Take take take that is all people like you know.

  4. it seems Miekles runs some industries across the board. what does nec say about each industry run by Miekles. Some of the nec does not give gratuity but you get your pension through where the company and the employee were contributing. Gratuity also is given after serving a certain No. of years. eg. Transport 5yrs, agriculture 8yrs. And thats not Miekles problem. You will be luck to get a plate after serving less years.

  5. Several means “more than two but not many”, so in essence how much would you expect from 2-3 years? But the issue is the misuse of the word ” several” in our country, it meant to mean many many.

  6. ᴀs Jᴜᴀɴɪᴛᴀ sᴀɪᴅ I ᴅɪᴅɴᴛ ᴋɴᴏᴡ ᴛʜᴀᴛ sᴏᴍᴇ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ᴄᴀɴ ᴍᴀᴋᴇ $8016 ɪɴ ᴀ ғᴇᴡ ᴡᴇᴇᴋs ᴏɴ ᴛʜᴇ ᴄᴏᴍᴘᴜᴛᴇʀ . ᴠɪsɪᴛ ᴛʜɪs ᴡᴇʙsɪᴛᴇ :

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> m­­­O­­­N­­e­­y­­­k­­­i­­n­­­­.C­­­O­­­M­­­

  7. Miekels has ventured into mining can you believe it. What that means is that there are some very big fish that it has managed to hook up with. Who benefits there after, its anyone’s guess.
    Zimbos are being taken for a long ride.
    Mark my words.

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