Sixteen Go Beer employees face retrenchment after Gweru councillors pushed for their exit at a special council meeting held yesterday.
This is the second time this year that councillors have called for the workers to be given retrenchment packages, after it emerged that the liquor undertaking was financially straining the local authority.
By Stephen Chadenga
Councillors who attended the meeting, but spoke on condition of anonymity, said they had recommended to management to retrench the workers at the beer concern.
“There was unanimous agreement by councillors that the workers at Go Beer should be given retrenchment packages whose payment plan should be negotiable,” one councillor said.
“Management wanted the workers to be absorbed by council, but we said the municipality is struggling to meet the wage bill of its employees hence absorbing more workers would not be practical.”
The councillor said they indicated to management that council could not afford a once-off retrenchment package, but could negotiate for a payment period.
Go Beer was shut down in July last year after a resolution by councillors to close the company.
Most of the permanent employees were sent on unpaid leave while council investigated operations at the brewery.
The beer entity has since failed to reopen.
Both mayor Hamutendi Kombayi and town clerk Daniel Matawu could not be reached for comment yesterday as they were said to be out of office.
In January Ward 4 councillor Kenneth Sithole moved a motion at a full council meeting that the 16 employees, who were directly attached to the brewery, should be given retrenchment packages, as the cash-strapped council could no longer absorb them.
“There is need to work out packages for these workers even if it means borrowing money from the market, as this will lessen the burden on council,” Sithole said then.