MP attacks trade unionists

Zanu (PF) Chiredzi West legislator Darlington Chiwa has attacked the Zimbabwe Sugar Milling Workers Union (ZISMIWU) for failing to negotiate salary increments for poverty-stricken workers.

But union leaders have o hit back at the legislator advising him to leave labour issues alone. Chiwa said he would soon push a motion in Parliament to ban some of the sugar unions, which he said were not representing workers while pocketing their subscriptions.

"Workers in the sugar industry are also my workers because I am their MP and they voted for me. Hence I have the duty to represent them at any forum. Some of these unions have to be banned as they have nothing to offer the workers," he said.

The MP called on union leaders to quit their posts to pave way for new leadership or risk being banned. The majority of sugar cane workers are employed by Tongaat Hulett the country's sole sugar milling giant.

Chiwa said he had on many occasion talked to the company’s chief executive officer Sydney Mutasambiwa about the paltry salaries, only to be told they were failing to come up with a collective bargaining agreement because ZISMWU was a disjointed union.

No official comment could be obtained from Mutasmbiwa at the time of going to press as his mobile phone was unreachable.

ZISMIWU secretary general Admore Hwarare said Chiwa was not a trade unionist and should just keep quiet. Meanwhile the Commercial Sugar Cane Farmers Association has suspended its secretary general, Roy Bhila, and treasurer Tinos Bere on allegations of financial mismanagement.

Post published in: News

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