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‘Probe managers’ extravagant salaries’

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MEMBERS of the United Food and Allied Workers’ Union yesterday pleaded with Parliament to investigate salaries of its top management, saying they were living a lavish lifestyle while workers wallowed in poverty.

VENERANDA LANGA

The union, made up of workers from Delta, Innscor, Cairns Foods, Afdis, Blue Ribbon Foods, National Foods, Bakers Inn and several other companies in the food industry, also accused their employers of contravening several other labour laws.

The union’s spokesperson Adonia Mutero told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare he was afraid to disclose how much managers earned for fear of possible victimisation.

“While the workers are subjected to slave wages, salaries of top management consume over 80% of the wage bills, and we have evidence of some arbitral awards like Gold Star Sugars where the arbitrator raised serious observations of a top-heavy company,” Mutero said.

“While we do not seek or call for reduction of their obscene salaries, we rather call for balance and reduction of the gap between ordinary workers basic wages and that of top managers,” he said.

They also made a plea to Parliament to ask Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Nicholas Goche to monitor application of labour laws by companies.

The union leaders alleged managers enjoyed luxurious benefits such as change of vehicles every five years and handsome gratuity while ordinary employees went away with $800 to $2 000 as gratuity.

Meanwhile, Zimplats general manager (human resources) Takawira Masvisvi appeared before the same committee and said it would take about three to four years to reopen Bimha Mine which recently collapsed.

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