Confirming the closure, The Managing Director of Zimglass, Jacob Dube said they had closed shop end of August to allow relining of the furnace estimated to cost about US$4million. Dube said the relining of the furnace was set to improve the company’s products and the process will take six months.
While the managing director expressed optimism that the relining project will ensure that the company would produce quality products after its completion, the 472 employees and a hundred others who were on contract emplyment, lamented the cut of their own source of income.
Radio VOP found out that only a few of the permanent workers had been promised US$60 each on a monthly basis, which they said was too little and was not enough to sustain themselves and their families.
“We have been told that we will be getting only US$60 a month and what do you do with that in this very expensive economy,”? queried one of the workers who preferred not to be named.
The majority of the workers will be however be considered to be on unpaid leave.
“How can you be on forced leave without a salary to sustain you? How do we remain in town without money? It’s unfair because the managers we are sure will be getting their salary and us we will be just toiling without anything to show when we have served the company diligently and honestly and this is how they reward us,” complained another bitter worker.
Other workers said they doubted the company would re-open.
Zimbabwe is believed to have an unemplyment rate of over 80 percent.
Sources at Zimglass said the furnace that was currently operating was commissioned in 2004 and was supposed to have been rebuilt by 2008 but this did not happen. Now the furnace is said to be beyond repair.
The Zimbabwe Chemical Plastic and Allied Works (ZCPAWU), para-legal officer, Rabsack Mutero has condemned the issue of permanent employees being sent on leave without salary for a cause that is beyond their handling.
Mutero also said Zimglass breached labour laws according to the Labour Act 28:01ammendment number 17 which entails that any company should seek workers’ opinion in any major development and changes within the company.
Zimglass served both local and regional markets with its major clients in South Africa. It specialisd in bottles and glass packaging.