WORKERS at the Hwange Local Board are reportedly fainting at work allegedly due to hunger and stress as they have a 10-month salary backlog.
HLB Workers’ committee chairperson Themba Tshuma yesterday told The Chronicle that three workers died after failing to get money to go to hospital.
“Three workers have fainted on the job in recent weeks. Three have died, with the most recent being two weeks ago. They failed to get money to go to hospital after management said it had no money,” said Tshuma.
He said pay dates were erratic.
“In 2014 we were only paid salaries for six months. Last year we were not paid in November and this year we were only paid in January,” said the workers committee chairperson.
He said stress related to being a bread winner who does not bring anything home coupled with hunger had caused the fainting and death of workers.
HLB Human Resources Committee Chairperson Nqobile Mabhena admitted that people were fainting at work.
HLB Chief Executive Officer Ndumiso Mdlalose said: “I’m not aware of the deaths and fainting incidents. I know people are stressed and they want their money.
“We are working tirelessly to clear the arrears dating from 2014 but our major challenge is that the Zimbabwe Power Company is our major client and owes about 80 percent of the ratepayers’ debt.”
An employee who preferred anonymity accused management of being insensitive to workers.
He said they had witnessed incidents where employees requested advance salaries so that they could purchase medication but died upon failure to access it.
“Two weeks ago one worker died after failure to access money for diabetes medication from management. Some have fainted with hospitals suggesting they be given a meal and discharged while many are suffering from stress.
“Management is being insensitive to the plight of our children who are due for ‘A’ level and ‘O’ level exams this year.
The worker said employees are querying why the company splashed money on managers’ luxurious stay in Bulawayo during the ZITF period.
“The CEO was accompanied by the town treasurer, board chairman as well as four committee chairpersons and their spouses. So they can spare money for that yet we are not being given our salaries?” asked the worker.
“When one begs for money for medication they are told the company has no money. When we request to meet the CEO or those in top management we are never granted access.” chronicle