MORE than 20 former Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) southern region employees on Wednesday thronged the company’s Bulawayo offices and vowed not to leave until the company paid them retrenchment packages, totalling more than $130 000.
This comes after Zupco laid off 117 workers in 2010.
Five years down the line the company has reportedly not yet paid some of the retrenchées their dues.
Lukas Munyika, chairperson of the retrenchée representatives of Zupco southern region, said they were getting impatient, as they had bills and debts to pay.
“We have major bills to pay and families to support and what the Zupco officials are doing is unfair,” he said.
“Zupco raises revenue daily, but no percentage is allocated to cover their debt to us.
“We feel victimised because we were retrenched together with more than 200 workers from the northern region and they have all been paid their money.
“This is regionalism because bosses seemingly comply with northern division demands but neglect ours.”
Munyika claimed when they approached management in Harare over the issue, the chief executive officer said their northern region counterparts had been paid because their lawyers were pressurising the company.
“So we are now being punished because we cannot afford lawyers,” he said.
When the Southern Eye crew arrived at the Zupco Khami depot, several former employees were gathered at the offices waiting to speak to the human resources officer and vowing they would sleep at the offices if they do not receive payment plans.
The retrenchées were carrying copies of the letter they sent addressed to divisional operations manager, requesting a clear and straightforward position on outstanding packages.
“Because of the bad treatment and unfaithfulness we are getting from the management, we have decided to produce this document, which we hope you will understand and act on accordingly.
“We have been patient and the suffering is now spilling to our immediate families. After uncountable efforts to have meetings between our representatives and Zupco management, which proved to bear no fruits, we have been left without any option but to do whatever we can as a collective force,” part of the letter reads.
Contacted for comment, divisional operations manager Zion Muwoni said he did not understand why the group was acting that way, as the company was paying retrenchment packages regularly.
“I do not know what they are up to because we have been paying these people for a long time now,” he said.
“The problem is they bulldoze their way into our offices and demand to see leadership, but sometimes due to work commitments we would not be available.
“You cannot just come and do that, you formally make an appointment and we will make an arrangement, that’s how business is conducted.”