Gweru gives in to workers’ demands

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(File Photo) GWERU City Council

Gweru City Council has given in to workers‘ demands for payment of outstanding salaries and bonuses and agreed to settle the debt by tomorrow.

BY STEPHEN CHADENGA

The workers who received their December 2014 salaries last Friday are still to get back pay for April to July 2014 as well as their 13th cheques.

In an interview yesterday, after the tea break daily protests by employees that began early April, workers committee spokesperson Cornelia Selipiwe said management had pledged to settle back pays by Friday this week.

“Workers in the grades one to seven were paid December salaries, but the employer agreed to work our back pays so that by Friday (tomorrow) workers can get paid,” Selipiwe said.

“But that does not mean we will stop our daily tea break protests until all our demands are met. We will continue to pressure management to take our grievances seriously.”

Town clerk Daniel Matawu could not be reached for comment on his mobile phone.

Southern Eye recently revealed that councillors gobbled a staggering $244 581 in travel and subsistence allowances between September 2013 and February this year while the majority of the workers were wallowing in poverty after going unpaid for several months.

The travels were for study tours, induction workshops, local government meetings, trade fairs and funerals, among others.

Gweru City Council has been struggling to meet salary obligations and blames declining revenue for its predicament.

The majority of the country’s local authorities are struggling financially after the government in 2013 ordered them to write off bills that had accumulated since 2009.

A sizeable number of ratepayers are failing to pay bills due to high unemployment while government departments take long to all settle their rates arrears.