THE troubled Bulawayo firm Marvo Stationery Manufacturers has paid its workers a paltry $50 despite going for a year without paying them a salary, it emerged yesterday.
The disgruntled workers told Southern Eye Business, management only paid them $50 last week after being recalled to work in anticipation of an improvement in the stationery business with the recent opening of schools.
“We don’t have a choice. We just went back because there are no jobs, but $50 after a full year without a salary is an insult,” one of the workers said.
“What can a family man do with $50.”
The company last year sent its workers on forced unpaid leave citing the unavailability of raw materials within the factory.
This resulted in workers staging an industrial action and taking the company to court.
Marvo has been struggling with low capitalisation and has for the past year been failing to pay packages of some of employees it retrenched.
The company does not only owe its workers outstanding salaries, but has also been failing to remit workers’ contributions to the National Social Security Authority as required by the laws leaving relatives of deceased former workers equally destitute.
However, Marvo is one of few firms which benefited from Distressed Industries and Marginalised Areas Fund (Dimaf) after it received a loan of $750 000 early in 2012 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.
Efforts to get a comment from Marvo managing director Saul Mashaba were fruitless as his office said he was not available.
Most companies in Bulawayo are in distress and have been struggling to pay their workers while more continue to shut down.
Industries in the city need an estimated $400 million to recover, but are struggling to attract investment while the
government is also cash strapped to finance the recapitalisation of companies.