Retrenchments increase

BULAWAYO - About 3000 workers have been retrenched since January in a clear sign of the failure of most companies to rebound after years of collapse.

Statistics from the Labour and Social Welfare Ministry reveal that the ministry approved the retrenchment of about 3 000 workers during the first half of the year, almost double the approved retrenchments for the same period last year, data showed yesterday. According to figures from the ministry, it approved the laying off of 2 913 workers between January and June, compared to 1 492 the same period last year.

The banking sector had the highest number of approved retrenchments, accounting for 29 per cent of the total number, followed by the clothing sector with 15 per cent while the transport sector accounted for 12 per cent. The mining sector had 8,6 per cent of the total number of retrenchments while the commercial sector had six per cent and other sectors accounting for 29,4 percent.

According to the ministry, the banking sector applied for retrenchments saying it was restructuring while the clothing sector cited competition from cheap imports as affecting their viability. This year’s first half retrenchment figures also surpassed last year’s second half as from July to December a total of 2 609 retrenchments were approved by the ministry.

A number of companies have, since the introduction of the multiple currencies, retrenched their employees citing a need to resize their operations pointing out that salaries in the country were way below the Southern African Development Community average. Local companies have bemoaned high operational costs that they said are caused by high utility charges and high wage bills.

Post published in: Economy

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