YOU ARE FIRED: 18000 Thousand Fired So Far.

EIGHTEEN thousand workers have so far been sacked by 48 companies countrywide since the July 17 Supreme Court ruling that authorised the dismissal of employees upon giving them a three-month notice.

This figure excludes those who were fired and failed to report to labour unions. As of yesterday, the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions had recorded 16,000 dismissals, while the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions had 2,500 cases of fired people as of Monday.

Unilever Zimbabwe sacked 186 employees, while Moonlight Funeral Assurance and Services fired 100 workers on Monday, ZFTU said yesterday.
18000 Thousand Fired So Far.
18000 Thousand Fired So Far.
Other companies with shocking figures of dismissals according to ZFTU include Econet Wireless, which had sent home 400 workers and Sino-Zim which dismissed 300 workers. Air Zimbabwe and Choppies Zimbabwe fired 100 workers, respectively while Sakunda Holdings dismissed 80 employees, mainly truck drivers.

Zimasco, Zimsteel Zimbabwe, Pioneer Freight, Crest Poultry Group, Steward Bank, General Engineering Private Limited, Nyadire Teachers College, Goal Zimbabwe, Clover Leaf Motors, Zimbabwe Christian College, TN Harlequin, BlueLine Dry Cleaners, Granary Investments, Metropolitan Bank, MedTech, Windmill and Zimbabwe Pharmaceuticals are among the list of companies that had dismissed workers premised on the Supreme Court ruling, according to labour unions.

Regency Group of Hotels also dismissed 251 employees.

Workers at Flamboyant, Chevron, Panyanda hotels, Ritz Night Club in Masvingo and Fairmile Hotel in Gweru were served with letters terminating their contracts last week.

Chief executive officer Fredrick Kasese and all lower level employees like gardeners were sent packing.

“We were given three months notices and no one was spared from the CEO (Kasese) to the lowest ranked employee. We’re in a quandary right now because we don’t know what to do,’’ said one of the workers.

Zvobgo Holdings director Eddison Zvobgo (Jnr) defended the decision saying it was lawful.

“We’re following the law in whatever we’re doing and the move that we took is part of a restructuring exercise aimed at removing pressure off our wage bill,’’ he said.

“We need to take decisions that are in the interests of the company and that’s why we’re restructuring. The restructuring exercise is very necessary and normal and I don’t know why people are making a lot of noise about it.’’

Zvobgo, however, said Regency Hotel Group was not closing shop.

ZFTU secretary-general Kenias Shamuyarira yesterday described the indiscriminate dismissal of employees as a capitalist conspiracy bent on causing anarchy in the country.

He said the dismissals were tantamount to abuse of the law and a miscarriage of the interpretation of the law.

It was disturbing, he said, that employers were deliberately misinterpreting the Supreme Court ruling to get rid of their employees.

“The common law, which these employers are basing their dismissals on actually says the employer should quantify the reasons for giving the three months notice the same way the employee should also give reasons to the employer if he or she wants to leave his or her job,” he said.

“Common law doesn’t mean just dishing out letters terminating contracts of employment and forfeiting of salaries and benefits. But, they (employers) are deliberately choosing to interpret a single section of the law to suit their demands.”

Given the circumstances, Shamuyarira said, it was incumbent upon the President to invoke the Presidential Powers (Temporary) Measures Act to save the industry from total collapse.

He said, in the long run, the move by companies would have serious ramifications to the government.

As a labour organisation, Shamuyarira said they would not sit on their laurels adding that starting next week they would be visiting companies and forcibly reinstate the fired workers. On the other hand ZCTU president George Nkiwane said the situation was not pleasing.

“This is a serious issue but surprisingly all media houses apart from The Herald and The Chronicle, are ignoring the issue,” he said. “It’s no longer certain if you’ll wake up and find your job safe.” Chronicle.

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