WORKERS at Pigott Maskew in Bulawayo yesterday waged a strike in protest over non-payment of salaries for the past two years.
Disgruntled workers accused management of impoverishing them.
“The company owes us a lot of money,” a worker who spoke on condition of anonymity said.
“We have not been paid salaries for the past two years and we are saying enough is enough.
“We are not going to work until something has been done. We want our money.”
Another worker said the situation was bad and they were failing to make ends meet and had been surviving on handouts from friends and relatives.
He said the majority of Pigott Maskew had literally become destitute because some had been kicked out of their rented houses for failing to pay rentals since they had not been paid for the past two years.
Southern Eye visited the company’s premises yesterday morning and witnessed workers milling around.
The company’s general manager Joseph Gunda confirmed workers were owed outstanding salaries, but dismissed claims they had not been paid for the past two years.
“It is not true that they have not been paid for the past two years,” he said.
“Yes, there are some outstanding arrears and I appeal to workers to bear with us.
“Things are tough, but we believe it would be better because we have plans in place to improve operations.
“The issue is affecting all of us including top management.”
In 2013 the management was reportedly forced to lock themselves in the company’s boardroom when about 160 workers stormed offices demanding 10 months’ outstanding salaries.
Gunda reportedly fled the company premises soon after getting wind that workers wanted to confront management.
Workers, who say they were last paid in June 2013, were reportedly owed a combined $480 000 in unpaid salaries.
Pigott Maskew is a division of General Beltings Limited, a leading manufacturer of rubber products with branches in Bulawayo, Harare and Mutare.
Workers said they would only resume work after being paid part of outstanding salaries.
This is the third time since 2013 that workers have demonstrated against unpaid salaries.