Council snubs new workers’ committee

(File Photo) GWERU City Council

GWERU City Council management has refused to recognise a new workers’ committee saying it would only approve the representative body once disputes with rival unions have been resolved, minutes from a recent meeting reveal.

Stephen Chadenga

The new workers’ committee was elected after leaders from rival unions passed a vote of no confidence on the Zimbabwe Urban Council Workers’ Union Gweru branch executive on January 13, accusing it of failing to represent interests of workers.

But last month the Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare ministry said the interim Gweru City Council workers’ committee could not be recognised as it was not constituted in terms of labour laws.

Despite the resolution, Gweru employees this month went on to elect the new committee into office.

The local authority has, however, ignored advice from its lawyers, Danziger and Partners, not to dabble in a dispute among rival worker representative bodies.

Danziger and Partners had written to council advising it to recognise the new committee as the dispute between rival workers’ unions did not concern it.

“Council is not in agreement with Messrs Danziger and Partners’ opinion for council to recognise the newly-elected workers’ committee, it being noted that council will only recognise an elected workers committee after the dispute between the newly-elected workers’ committee and the various workers’ groups has been resolved by the relevant authorities,” a March 2 2015 council resolution shows.

“Council shall not entertain any of the workers groups until the dispute between the various groups has been resolved by the relevant authorities.”