Telecel workers threaten to down tools

TELECEL workers, who are demanding a 733,3% salary increment, have threatened to down tools if the mobile network operator fails to hike their pay from $1 200 to $10 000.

BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO

The workers yesterday revealed to NewsDay that they would today meet management led by chief executive officer Angeline Vere to deliberate on remuneration.

Due to the COVID-19 lockdown effects, Telecel reportedly cut its employees’ salaries by $800 in April.

On Friday the workers met with the executive whom they say failed to raise salaries by 30% as agreed in February.

Business, Communications and Allied Workers Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general, David Mhambare told NewsDay that today’s meeting was meant to bargain for a “meaningful” increment failure of which would result in a job action across the country.

“We are meeting the management on Monday (today) to discuss a meaningful salary increment. Right now workers are getting as little as $1 200. The 30% increment agreed upon in February has not yet been implemented without an explanation,” he said.

“We are expecting a minimum salary of $10 000 and our message is that if nothing concrete comes up on Monday all Telecel workers around Zimbabwe will withdraw labour. I will provide finer details about our position once we conduct the meeting,”

“We have presented our part of the bargain through the National Employment Council.”

Mhambare said management salaries were shrouded in secrecy.

“A senior engineer is taking home $6 000. Their salaries are shrouded in secrecy and their lackadaisical approach to our concerns suggests that they are earning a lot,” he said.

In February, the workers downed tools in protest over network inefficiency, coupled with poor resourcing within the troubled entity and Mhambare said: “It’s actually now worse than before.”

Last year, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe reported that Telecel subscribers went down from 1 080 606 to 1 027 445, registering a 4,9 % decline in the second quarter of 2019.

This is despite the fact that Econet and NetOne subscriber bases grew 1,3% and 6,1% respectively.

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