The operation code named “bhadala” (pay up) is targeting mainly companies which are either failing to pay their employees in time or are unable to pay their workers decent salaries.
“We have embarked on this programme after realising that most companies in the city are taking advantage of the confusion in the inclusive government by exploiting and ill-treating workers,” said Percy Mcijo, the ZCTU Regional officer for Western region which covers Bulawayo.
“About 99 percent of all our members are currently earning wages and salaries which are far less than the poverty datum line which is currently pegged at US$500. As a workers representative organisation we have information that some of these companies are capable of paying their workers decent salaries but are just taking advantage of the prevailing situation to exploit workers.”
Mcijo said the most affected sector was the clothing industry where some workers had gone for more than six months without receiving salaries from their employers.
“We have a situation at Security Mills where workers work for nine hours per day. Some even work extra time but the company cannot afford to pay its workers in time let alone pay decent salaries and wages. Now the question is if the company is not making any profit why are workers working all those hours per day?”
“Apart from that the company‘s workforce of over 600 workers is still intact,” said Mcijo.
“Since the launch of the operation two weeks ago, I am glad to say that companies like Prestige Paints have headed our call to pay workers at least in time. However we will keep on engaging more companies in dialogue over this issue ,” he said.
Mcijo also expressed concern over the deteriorating health and safety standards in companies