Gweru council workers give strike notice

BY BRENNA MATENDERE

GWERU City Council workers have given their employer a notice to demonstrate at Town House to force the local authority to implement a High Court order to reverse a 2014 salary cut directed by then Local Government minister, Saviour Kasukuwere.

Kasukuwere ordered a salary cut of up to 58% for council workers in October 2014, but the workers successfully challenged the order at the High Court, which they won in 2016.
However, since then the city council has not complied with the High Court order.

Kudakwashe Munengiwa, Zimbabwe Urban Council Workers Union (ZUCWU) chairperson’s Gweru branch, confirmed the planned demonstrations, which he said would result in a full blown strike if the council does not address the matter urgently.

“We held a general council meeting last week and the leadership was tasked to notify the employer of the impending demonstrations at Town House to push for implementation of the High Court order in a case of Edward Pise and 58 others, who successfully won a case to have former minister Kasukuwere’s directive on salary cuts be reversed. We are saddened that, while the order was granted in 2016, the city council has not complied. Workers are still being paid the cut salaries,” he said.

Munengiwa also pointed out that the current economic hardships had pushed the workers into taking a confrontational approach to the issue.

“So, according to the notice we gave the employer, from this Wednesday, we are going to be demonstrating at Town House during lunch hours. We will continue to do so for some reasonable time and if nothing comes out from the employer, then we will go for a full blown strike. If the employer can act on this issue, we will be available for talks, so that we achieve industrial harmony,” Munengiwa said.

Contacted for comment, council spokesperson, Manford Gambiza said: “The two parties are discussing as we speak. We will advise you accordingly on the outcome. Gweru city workers are very professional and organised and they know how to handle issues to do with their welfare with their employer,” he said.

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