BULAWAYO – Workers at a Powers Sales warehouse in Bulawayo’s Belmont industrial area on Wednesday refused to leave company premises to try and press for the repayment of outstanding wages.

The job action, according to insiders, was fueled by rumours the famous fabric and clothing store was due to shut its warehouse for good.

Disgruntled workers who spoke to ZimLive on condition of anonymity said their boss, identified as Elana Chicsen has not helped matters after he has been laying off workers without paying their outstanding wages.

They believe this could be her attempts to recycle staff without paying them.

The employees have refused to go down the same path.

“…We have decided to set camp here tonight; we are not going anywhere until we have received our salaries,” vowed one worker.

“Last year, using the same trick, a dozen of workers were dismissed without receiving their salaries.

“We think this is her modus operandi which we as workers here at Belmont dismiss unanimously.”

The situation became messier after the company Human Resource (HR) Officer attempted to serve them with some dismissal letters at around 5PM on Wednesday when they were due to knock off.

“The HR came around knock-off time and called us one-by-one to the Factory Manager’s office to serve us retrenchment papers but fortunately, we had unanimously agreed as colleagues not to sign anything until our salaries and benefits are paid or they give us some of the machinery since they are allegedly shutting down the shop,” said a worker.

Reports suggested the standoff went on into the night.

At around 8PM, the HR promised workers half of their salaries and ordered them to go home but they still refused to accept part payment.

The 25-branch store is rumoured to be in the process of laying off over 60 employees in its Bulawayo branch and keep a lean staff of 30.

Workers also accused their employer of defiantly telling employees not to question her about her money each time she is confronted over outstanding wages.

ZimLive however could not readily find comment from the company management.