Council workers kick representatives out

(File Photo) GWERU City Council

GWERU City Council workers on Tuesday passed a vote of no confidence in their representatives, accusing them of failing to stand for their grievances at the workplace.

Stephen Chadenga

The workers, who met at the works yard, have since appointed an interim committee to represent their interests.

The vote of no confidence letter dated January 13 2015 and seen by the Southern Eye mentions the late disbursement of salaries, outstanding back payments, bonuses as well as health and safety issues, as some of the complaints the booted committee failed to address.

“We write to you as workers of Gweru City Council notifying you on the above stated developments,” part of the letter signed by Gweru workers, addressed to council management reads.

“As a result we hereby inform you that after a meeting held at the works yard on January 13 2015, the workers unanimously agreed that the current representation has not performed to expectations.

“They have dismally failed to represent workers on burning issues, namely late salary payments, outstanding back payments and bonuses, as well as health and safety matters.”

The local authority, which is in four-month salary arrears, last paid workers September 2014 salaries in mid-December last year and is yet to pay October, November and December 2014 salaries.

Those elected in the interim committee are Silas Mutendeudzwa (chairperson), Paul Moyana (vice-chairman), Tendai Masasire (secretary), Kudzai Zivurawa (vice-secretary), Frank Muzorera (organising secretary), Simbarashe Leboho (treasurer) and two committee members, Shoniwa Nechiwowe and Komborero Semende.

Interim chairperson Mutendeudzwa in a press statement said the new team would draft a letter to the Labour ministry notifying it of the latest developments.

He said as of yesterday, 300 workers had signed the petition.

Key among the grievances was the failure by the council to remit medical aid funds for its workers, forcing them to fork out cash when seeking treatment.

Mutendeudzwa, who is also Water and Allied Workers’ Union chairman, said the local authority had in the past years not been remitting medical aid, funeral policy contributions and pension funds as part of the workers’ benefits.

“This is why workers on Tuesday we passed a vote of no confidence on the current union executive,” he said.

“There has been non-remittance of medical aid, funeral policy contributions and pension funds by the employer yet our representatives were busy dining with them (employers) instead of addressing such issues.”

Mutendeudzwa said as a result, workers were finding it hard to access “sound medical health”, adding misery to the already bad working conditions they are being exposed to.