Monday, 2 May 2016


Workers Day celebrations in Chiredzi failed to kick off in Chiredzi after workers chose to stay at home.

Thousands of workers at Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe have snubbed the Workers Day commemorations citing that they have nothing to celebrate as they are not getting a fair deal from their employer.
The lowveld is home to thousands of hectares of sugar cane plantations with close to 20 000 people employed in that sector.

In Chiredzi, Tongaat Hulett is the biggest employer in the sugar cane industry.

Workers from the company, however, snubbed the Workers Day commemorations and preferred to spend the day at their homes citing that they are getting a raw deal from their employer.

The president of the Zimbabwe Sugar Milling Industry Workers Union Mr Freedom Madungwe told the ZBC News that Tongaat Hulett is infringing on the rights of the employees and there is no reason for them to celebrate May Day.

"The truth is as Tongaat Hulett workers we have nothing to celebrate on May Day. Last year  we engaged in job action hoping that our employer will listen to our concerns. After the intervention of the ministry, the employer gave us only $10," said Mr Madungwe.

The workers downed their tools from the 27th of November to the 18th of December last year demanding an increment and better working conditions.

The strike ended after the government intervened and instructed that the workers should get a minimum of a $10 increment while they go back to the negotiating table.

Part of the agreement between the government and Tongaat Hulett was that none of the workers should be victimised for taking part in the strike, a condition which Madungwe says the corporation has breached as a number of the workers union executives are currently undergoing hearings.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Deputy Minister Cde Tapiwa Matangaidze who was in Chiredzi to attend the celebrations that failed to kick off told the ZBC News that the case between Tongaat Hulett and its employees demands the two parties to stick to the agreement reached in December.

"We came up with some agreement in December and we feel that the employer and employees should stick to their agreement . We will be engaging the employer to make sure that the agreement goes through. We are aware that some employees are going for hearings," said Cde Matangaidze.

Among the many issues being cited as needing redress by the employees are salary reviews, decent accommodation and electricity provisions at their houses.


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