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Energy industry workers threaten strike


WORKERS in the energy industry have threatened a nationwide collective job action that could plunge the country into total darkness if management at Zesa fails to implement a 2012 collective job agreement.


Addressing a Press conference in Harare yesterday, the Zimbabwe Energy Workers’ Union (Zewu) and National Energy Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (Newuz) said workers would down tools if management fail to honour the agreement.

“I cannot tell you when, but the strike is imminent,” Zewu secretary-general Martin Chikuni said.

Zesa claims workers are demanding a 75% salary increase and improved allowances across the board in a development that will spike the power utility’s wage bill currently gobbling around $22 million of its average $56 million collections monthly.

The management also claimed the workers were demanding new housing and holiday allowances, and school fees payment for up to six children as well as cellphone allowances.

But the workers denied claims by the management that the least paid at Zesa was earning $940 saying the figure was $230.

“We shall take measures, including strike action, to secure the rights and interests of our members should (Josh — Zesa chief executive officer) Chifamba continue throwing tantrums in the Press, while neglecting real issues,” Thomas Masvingwe, Newuz secretary-general, said.

Workers also denied that their demands would cripple the power utility, claiming managers were pampering themselves with international holidays gobbling about $50 000 for each of the top six.

They accused management of creaming the company through dubious tenders given to “unscrupulous” people like Wicknell Chivayo.

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