City of Mutare strike

Mutare city council yesterday suspended Zimbabwe Urban Councils Workers Union chairman for Mutare Chapter, Baya Musa and 23 other workers who took part in the strike on Monday to press council to pay them their outstanding bonuses.

SDC..City of Mutare Town Clerk Obert Muzawazi..
SDC..City of Mutare Town Clerk Obert Muzawazi..

Musa and other workers on Monday downed tools demanding the local authority to pay them close to $500 000 in unpaid bonuses and address their grievances such as paying of funeral policy and medical aid.

According to a document in our possession, workers were suspended without pay and benefits for unlawful collective job action.

“It has come to management`s attention that on the 26th of March 2012, you together with others organized and participated in an illegal collective job action on the issue of bonuses.

“This was despite your full knowledge of the Employment council's position on the matter. You are aware of the Town`s Clerk detailed correspondence to your union dated 6 January 2012 wherein it was made clear that any intended collective job action on the issue of bonuses would be illegal,” reads the letter signed by Acting Health Director of Services and copied to Town Clerk, Finance Director, Human Resources and a trade union ZUWCU.

The council argued that municipal employment is an essential service in terms of Labour Act and that no attempt to conciliate has been pursued and also that the requisite notice has not been furnished.

“There is no proper, prior and documented approval or authorization of the relevant union to proceed on collective job action and that you have no prior documented decision to go on collective action by the majority of the membership voting by secret ballot,” reads part of the letter.

“You are therefore suspended without pay and benefits in terms of section 6(1) of Statutory Instrument 15 of 2006.During the period of your suspension you are not expected to visit any council offices or your work places without prior written approval by the Town Clerk or Human Resources Manager.

“You are being charged with violation of section 4(a) of SI 15 of 2006,”reads the letter.

Suspended workers said they were not moved by the threats because their concerns were genuine.

“We are only saying let`s share the small cake but some people are greed they want to take all while others are suffering. It`s just cheap politics being played by some corrupt council managers,” said one worker who was served with suspension letter.

Acting mayor, George Jerrison defended the management position, saying the collective job action was illegal.

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