Former managers of the Cold Storage Company, at one time of the biggest beef processing companies in Africa, have threatened to take Boustead Beef Zimbabwe which took over the operations of the company in February if their grievances are not addressed within seven days from 22 November.
The managers listed 11 grievances which included cuts in fuel allowances, withholding of school fees for their children and humiliating treatment at their place of work.
The takeover of the CSC by Boustead Beef was heralded as a major investment in the ailing parastatal.
Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa in her cabinet briefing of 15 May said the agreement with Boustead Beef would do the following:
- raise and invest a minimum of $130 million into CSC over five years, being for both capital expenditures and working capital for the business;
- pay off CSC financial debts totalling US$42 530 597;
- pay rentals of US$100 000 per annum during the first five years of the concession agreement;
- take over and run the management of the following CSC ranches for an initial period of 25 years: Maphaneni; Dubane; Umguza; Chivumbuni; Mushandike; Willsgrove; and Darwendale;
- take over and run the management of the following abattoirs for an initial period of 25 years: Bulawayo; Chinhoyi; Masvingo; Marondera; and Kadoma; and
- take over and manage for an initial period of 25 years, the Harare, Gweru and Mutare distribution centres and residential properties of CSC.
Nothing of the sort happened. Instead workers accused workers accused the Boustead managing of stripping the assets of the former parastatal.
It also turned out that the so-called British investor was a former tobacco farmer in Zimbabwe.
In addition, instead of going into full operation in September, workers were told that the company was shutting down for four months.
Despite all the broken promises, however, the company has been receiving rave reviews from the local press .
Below is the letter from the CSC managers:
22nd November 2019
Boustead Beef Zimbabwe CSC Bulawayo Abattoir Birkenhead Road Belmont
Attention: Mr Nick Havercroft
RE: GRIEVANCES – MANAGERIAL GRADED EMPLOYEES (EX- COLD STORAGE COMPANY LIMITED NOW COLD STORAGE COMMISSIONmpany in February to the Labour Court if their grievances are not addresssed
We, the undersigned;
– Being employees graded from D1 and above, and therefore classified as former managerial employees of the now “defunct” Cold Storage Company Limited (CSC) ;
– Aware that the parent Ministry has advised that the CSC has now been replaced by the Cold Storage Commission which is being managed by Boustead Beef Zimbabwe with effect from 22nd February 2019 under the Joint Livestock Farming Concession Agreement (Concession Agreement);
– Recognizing that all former employees of the CSC, including ourselves, are on secondment to Boustead Beef Zimbabwe on the same salary, benefits and conditions of service pending either recruitment to Boustead Beef Zimbabwe or retrenchment;
Hereby request Boustead Beef Zimbabwe to address the following grievances listed below, which border on Constructive Dismissal and Discriminatory Work Practice within seven (7) days from the date of this communication, failure of which we shall approach the Labour Courts for relief and redress. This notice comes after numerous attempts by the undersigned to resolve the issues with Boustead Beef Zimbabwe have not yielded any positive outcome, or have been spurned by your office.
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