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Companies retrench over 200 000 workers

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Bata shoe factory is one of the companies which downsized
Bata shoe factory is one of the companies which downsized

LATEST figures released by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) has revealed that 227 000 employees were retrenched between 2011 and 2014 as companies downsized their staffing levels in light of the shrinking economy.

BY OWN CORRESPONDENT

“A total of 227 000 employees were laid off (June 2011 to May 2014). Males constituted 72% of the retrenched population while the provincial distribution shows that Harare had the highest percentage of the retrenched males (27,3%) followed by Mashonaland West (14,7%) and Mashonaland East (10,6%).

Among females, the highest retrenchment figures were in the Midlands (30,2%) followed by Mashonaland West with 22%,” the report read.

Various companies in the Midlands province downsized during the last decade when the economy started showing signs of a downfall resulting in a massive reduction in production capacity and an increase in the shedding off of employees.

Bata, the country’s largest shoe-making company, used to employ a workforce of more than 5 000 before the economic meltdown, but has since downsized to slightly above 1 000. Another Midlands giant, Ziscosteel — which at its peak employed over 3 000 workers — is yet to get off the ground despite identification of new investors, Essar Africa Holdings.

The survey established that most of the retrenched workers only had secondary education.

“The lowest percentages of the retrenched population were in water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation, real estate activities, arts, entertainment and recreation sectors which accounted for less than 1% each of the retrenchments,”  part of the report read.

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