SALARY negotiations at Ingwebu Breweries have reached a deadlock as workers are demanding a monthly pay of $540 for the lowest paid worker while management is only prepared to maintain last year’s levels amid indications the brewery is making losses due to the prevailing harsh economic climate.
The salary deadlock at Ingwebu Breweries, Bulawayo City Council’s commercial undertaking, comes amid revelations workers at managerial level at the brewery were said to be continuing “to express their dissatisfaction regarding their emoluments”.
According to the brewery’s first quarter report, salaries accounted for $1 593 862 which was more than the $1 494 133 that had been set aside for salaries in 2014.
This also comes as a job evaluation exercise for managerial employees has been completed in which the results “will be presented to the board’s human resources committee for approval”.
“Salary negotiations reached a deadlock after four sittings. The matter will be referred for conciliation at a date to be announced. Employees are demanding an all-inclusive minimum salary of $540 for the lowest paid worker while employers, due to financial constraints, are seeking to maintain the 2013 salary levels,” part of the report reads.
Southern Eye Business could not ascertain last year’s salary scales for Ingwebu employees.
But according to a confidential council report on the first quarter dated June 4, Ingwebu Breweries cited five major expenditure
In the first quarter, the cost of raw materials accounted for $1 644 130 against a budget of $1 627 569; salaries accounted for $1 593 862, but $1 494 133 had been realised with the report saying a variance of minus 6,7% was due to overtime expenses.
A total of $161 632 was used for repairs and maintenance despite $253 215 being budgeted for that and rental of vehicles cost $308 902 against a budget of $225 840.
Cleaning services costs which are inclusive of out-sourced services gobbled $137 467 when only $44 971 had been budgeted.
The report indicated that the brewery section recorded a loss of $264 934 which was 344,81% below budget and 141,66% below the 2013 first quarter results.
“Retail recorded a loss of $83 436 against a budgeted profit of $22 152. The franchise business recorded a profit of $5 201 for the quarter.
“However, the likelihood of collecting income from water and rates was very slim. Franchisees, especially those operating beer gardens and taverns, were facing viability problems,” part of the council report reads.