AMH is an independent media house free from political ties or outside influence. We have four newspapers: The Zimbabwe Independent, a business weekly published every Friday, The Standard, a weekly published every Sunday, and Southern and NewsDay, our daily newspapers. Each has an online edition.

Waverley Blankets locks out workers

Local News
According to Statutory Instrument 54 of 2016, an employee will be deemed permanent if they had been in continuous service for five years.

WAVERLEY Blankets has reportedly barred some of its workers from entering company premises following their refusal to sign short-term contracts in January, demanding permanent jobs.

Employees who requested anonymity reported that despite having worked for the company for more than five years, management had only offered them contract employment.

According to Statutory Instrument 54 of 2016, an employee will be deemed permanent if they had been in continuous service for five years.

The management reportedly ordered security to lock the workers out of the building since work resumed on January 25 this year after the workers informed them that they would not sign the short-term contracts until they were given permanent jobs.

“The issue emanated from the last council meeting whereby workers who have worked for the company for many years on a contract basis were asking why they have not been offered permanent jobs. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, these workers should be permanent employees,” one of the workers said.

“However, the employer has maintained they work on contract basis against the employees’ will. The workers lodged their complaint with the employer that they could no longer work as contract workers anymore before we closed for the December holidays.”

The management is said to have communicated through a notice on the company’s notice board informing the workers that no worker would be allowed on the premises if they did not sign the contract by January 15, 2024.

Employees indicated that they approached the National Employment Council (NEC), which ruled in their favour, saying the workers were supposed to be reinstated and be paid for the period they were locked out of the workplace.

The company has, however, refused to let them in and has not responded to NEC or the workers, according to one of the workers.

“The workers then approached NEC and NEC handled the case and declared that the workers be reinstated in their positions adding that they should be given their salaries and any other benefits for the period they were locked out of the premises. The workers came back with their papers from NEC last Friday but the employer did not let them in anyway,” the worker said.

“Today (yesterday), the workers came again and they were standing at the gate there. The employer realised that they were now drawing too much attention, and that is when they let them in but they were not working. So far, the employer has not said anything or responded to NEC.”

The fact that most employees have not received their January and February wages has left them trapped, the workers added.

Aaron Vico, the Waverly managing director, was unavailable for comment.

NewsDay visited the company premises yesterday where workers’ representatives stated that they were not authorised to speak to the Press.

Related Topics