Marvo workers strike

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MARVO Stationery Manufacturers (Pvt) Limited employees yesterday staged a demonstration in protest over non-payment of salaries for the past eight months and the company’s decision to send them on a forced two-month unpaid leave.

Gamma Mudarikiri
Own Correspondent

The disgruntled workers carried placards denouncing the firm’s management.

Some of the placards read: “Eight months without a salary: No Food! We want our money!”

The company announced the decision to send employees on two-month leave in a notice citing shortage of raw materials.

“Due to the unavailability of raw materials within the factory, employees are advised that they will be placed on short-time effective leave from Thursday September 19 to end of October as granted by the National Employment Council,” part of the notice pinned at the company’s notice board, read.

However, disgruntled workers challenged the company’s decision arguing the stationery producer should consider their plight, pointing out that they have not been paid their salaries for eight months.

“We cannot go on a forced two-month unpaid leave while the company has not been paying us for last eight months,” one of the angry employees, speaking strictly on condition he is not named — in fear of victimisation — said.

Another employee, who said he has served the company for 44 years and was due for retirement, said the company was failing to give him his retirement package and was forced to be at work at his old age.

“The company told me that it had no money to pay my retirement package. I am 66 years old and I am still here,” the angry worker said.

Marvo management refused to talk to Southern Eye yesterday when the newspaper visited the premises.

A receptionist to Marvo managing director Saul Mashaba said her boss had no time to talk to the media.

Marvo is one of few companies which benefited from Distressed Industries and Marginalised Areas Fund (Dimaf) after it received a loan of $750 000 early this year although it continues to sing the blues. The company has had running battles with its employees for years with a number of court cases still pending.

Disputes between companies and employees are now a common feature in Bulawayo.

Recently Dunlop Zimbabwe was rocked by a month-long industrial action again over a salary dispute.

According to the Industry and Commerce ministry, Bulawayo industry needs $73 million in the shortterm to recapitalise.

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