Thursday, 21 September 2017


NESTLÉ Zimbabwe, a unit of the world’s largest food and beverages firm, Nestlé, has become embroiled in a storm after it retrenched 46 workers.

The affected workers allege their retrenchment was made to accommodate six expatriates.
“The irony of this move by the Switzerland-headquartered firm is that it has been purporting to support buy local campaigns and empowering Zimbabwean employees,” said one of the affected workers who declined to be named.

“What is disturbing about this whole exercise is that the new expatriates’ salaries will chew up to 40 percent of Nestlé Zimbabwe’s wage and salary bill, while the 46 long-serving employees have been sent to the streets. The expatriates are deliberately frustrating local employees in order to increase their stay in Zimbabwe.”

The company’s managing director, Ben Ndiaye, however, denied that they had retrenched local workers to accommodate expatriates.

Ndiaye said the company recently invested in several initiatives, including new technology, to grow the business in Zimbabwe and enhance capabicity to export to neighbouring countries.

“As a result, a number of employees were offered early retirement or redundancy and all but one left voluntarily. Nestlé Zimbabwe offered employees an enhanced severance package that went beyond our statutory obligations. This included support for employees who chose to leave. We complied fully with all relevant local legislation,” he told The Financial Gazette in an interview.

“These initiatives will ensure our continued long-term growth in the country, and help secure the livelihoods of permanent employees and more than 200 people who are indirectly employed by Nestlé. These include merchandisers, casual workers and the distributors’ sales force, including bike sellers,” he added.

Ndiaye indicated that the conglomerate, which operates in more than 150 countries and has over 339 000 employees globally, takes advantage of expatriates to enhance its product offerings.

“Having expatriates is part of what we do as this helps the company to leverage on various capabilities our people possess. In fact, we have more Zimbabwean colleagues working in other markets than expatriates working for Nestlé Zimbabwe,” he said.

Nestlé has over 2 000 expatriates in 96 countries and the organisation strives to integrate into every community to which it belongs while placing the highest value on the unique perspectives of its people.

The conglomerate has — since the 1980s — created a platform for young graduates to establish their career.

According to Nestlé, about 40 percent of its global executive board members joined us as graduates.

The Nestlé Management Trainee Programme (MTP) is part of the company’s business strategy, ensuring that the organisation is equipped with individuals of the highest calibre with global standard of excellence.

Guided by experienced coaches and mentors, the MTP enables trainees to master an array of new skills that are consolidated during field exposure.

Trainees are also exposed to the art of networking and are taught how to liaise confidently with stakeholders and upper management. Financial Gazette


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